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LIFE IS A MIRACLE (zivot je cudo) by Emir Kusturica


Bosnia, 1992, shortly before the war breaks out. Railway engineer Luka (Slavko Stimac) lives in a train station in the middle of nowhere near the border to Serbia, and his job is to finish the railway connection between the two countries. His son Milos (Vuk Kostic) would rather live back in Belgrade and play soccer for Partizan Belgrade, and his wife Jadranka (Vesna Trivalic), a former opera singer, lives on the verge of madness. Luka does his best to ignore the news about the coming war, and even when Milos is drafted by the Serbian army he keeps living in denial. When his wife runs away with a Hungarian musician, Luka is alone in the wilderness. When the war breaks out, he soon learns that his son Milos has been captured, and then beautiful muslim nurse Sabaha (Natasa Solak) is being put under his supervision. She shall be exchanged for his son, but soon the lonely Luka and frightened Sabaha fall deeply in love.

Tragedy and comedy in harmony – it’s like Shakespeare mixed with the Coen brothers. Beautifully photographed, remarkable music (Emir Kusturica and the No Smoking Orchestra), great dialogue, scurrile and loveable characters and great actors manage to fill out 155 minutes (maybe 10 or 15 minutes shorter wouldn’t have hurt).
If you love your movies scurrile (a love-sick donkey trying to let himself being run over by a train, a hungry cat, the villagers and their lifes and ceremonies), romantic and poetic (grand landscapes, Romeo and Julia-like love story) then watch this Serbian/French production that celebrates the beauty of life and love, even in times of war.

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