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Information

A.k.a.
Once Upon a Time There Was a Country
Year
1995
Runtime
170 min.
Director
Emir Kusturica
Genres
Drama, Comedy, War
Rating *
8.1
Votes *
43,366
Checks
5,237
Favs
719
Dislikes
56
Favs/checks
13.7% (1:7)
Favs/dislikes
13:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Scratch47's avatar

    Scratch47

    Madness. Sheer madness. Telling the tale of some Yugoslav gun runner rebels who escape World War II by entering a bunker - and who stay underground as a resistance long after the war has ended - this is a cinematic trip and a half. It flips tragedy and comedy around in a tumble dryer, after all, the characters are not just losing their soul, but their mind. It's black surreal comedy with a dash of despondent screwball lunacy, populated by a downtrodden cast of characters who know their entire world is coming loose at the hinges, literally surrounded by animals, in one scene reduced to screaming like them in the dark. There's slapstick and a fleet-of-foot tone, but any lightness ultimately can only be attributed to the feeling of a nervous breakdown. The actors have supreme awareness of the dynamics required, and carry this deranged clown car of a film right up until the poignant ending where fantasy collides with reality again, spoiler Sure, war is hell, but hell has room for those too crazy to be monsters. I particularly loved the central character crashing in upon the filming of his own biography - and the hilarious meta-instances of one particular character's 'refusal to die'.
    It takes a lot of bravery to take such an angle on your countries' history, but I was transfixed throughout a near 3 hour running time. Watch it or you'll be 'always hanging yourself'. Oh, and I can't leave without mentioning the amazing score - or the pet chimp.
    4 years 3 months ago
  2. BareLolk's avatar

    BareLolk

    Beautiful piece of art with lots of great laughs! 4 years 5 months ago
  3. NuclearPlanet's avatar

    NuclearPlanet

    The film , even without an ending, has the perfect ending. 6 years 9 months ago
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  1. omaramri96 added this movie to their watchlist 1 day 9 hours ago
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In 8 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #34 in War
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    War

    34
  2. This movie ranks #43 in 1990s
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    1990s

    43
  3. This movie ranks #67 in Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or
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    Cannes Film Festival - P…

    67
  4. This movie ranks #287 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
    They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?'s icon

    They Shoot Pictures, Don…

    287
  5. This movie ranks #325 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
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    Sight and Sound 2012 - C…

    325
  6. This movie ranks #341 in 366 Weird Movies (Certified Weird)
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    366 Weird Movies (Certif…

    341
  7. This movie ranks #886 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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    1001 Movies You Must See…

    886
  8. This movie ranks #923 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films
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    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

    923
View all lists this movie is in