|Global Visions lists upcoming film |
The Department of Anthropology’s popular Global Visions Film Series brings an exciting array of films to the community of Grand Forks for the sixth consecutive year. The Global Visions Film Series presents two films per month in the Memorial Union Lecture Bowl. The series is currently the only venue in Grand Forks to view award-winning, nationally recognized independent films from a wide variety of contemporary film makers around the world. This semester's films focus on issues related to human rights around the globe.
The series, free and open to the public, is partially funded by the Multicultural Awareness Committee, and is sponsored by the Anthropology Club. Filmgoers are encouraged to come early to ensure a seat.
"No Man's Land," Bosnia/Hersegovina, Italy
7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, Lecture Bowl, Memorial Union
Film Review by Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Dec. 14, 2001
The great Yiddish humorist Sholem Aleichem tells the story of a Jewish soldier brought up on charges of not firing during a battle. Asked to defend himself, the man says he was ordered to shoot when he saw the enemy. "But I never saw the enemy," he explains. "I just saw people."
Bosnian writer-director Danis Tanovic has that same gift for seeing humanity where others do not. His exceptional debut feature, "No Man's Land," is a savage comedy about the war in the former Yugoslavia that artfully mixes comic absurdism with a passion for what's right and a concern for the individuality of all concerned.
Part of what makes "No Man's Land" so effective is a take-no-prisoners sense of humor that is characteristically Balkan. It's a sensibility that knows that the distance between a joke and death can be a matter of seconds, that has the wit to come out with the following definition: "A pessimist is someone who thinks things can't get any worse. An optimist is someone who thinks they can."
"No Man's Land" took the prize for best screenplay at Cannes and the recent European film awards, and it's an especially deserved one. Tanovic's script, which he shot in Slovenia, is both complex and simple, mixing a carefully worked-out series of rapidly changing, unexpected events with a thoughtful, philosophical overview. And though it has opportunities to do so, the film refuses to take the easy way out.
Tanovic's film, though it never preaches, is energized by its fury at the multiple idiocies and futilities of this particular war, which has trapped people in a completely senseless situation. And though Tanovic is a native of Sarajevo who ran the Bosnian army's film archive, he is careful to avoid finger-pointing and special pleading. In a situation where everyone acts badly, including the U.N. and the self-serving media, "No Man's Land" doesn't spare its wrath and makes sure that no party unfairly takes a hit.
There's an invaluable feeling of authenticity that runs through "No Man's Land" because of the wartime traumas of its cast and crew. According to media reports, star Djuric told a Toronto Film Festival news conference, "I have an advantage over Mr. Tom Hanks and the other guys who play in American war movies because I have experienced war myself. I know how it feels when a grenade explodes near you or when a sniper hits the person next to you. I don't have to act. I just remember."
-- Marcia Mikulak, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-4718