Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

The war maybe over in Bosnia, but the trouble is just starting. Living close to the Serbian border can be tough, especially when the tiny village of Tesanj hears that President Bill Clinton is expected to visit. The town goes into a frenzy, trying to cover up the post-war lawlessness, brushing the prostitution, cigarette and alcohol smuggling under the carpet in order to convince a party of inspectors to let the visit go ahead.

This entertaining drama has a rich vein of black comedy running at its heart. Zaim is the ex-chief of police. He suffers from Parkinson's and shakes constantly; he also sees dead people, or rather, one in particular, his son, Adnan (Feda Stukan), who was killed in the war. The only trouble is, he thinks Adnan is still alive and being held captive in the Serbian mines. Adnan tells his father, "I'm underground," but Dad doesn't realise he means it literally.

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His second son Faruk, is a fireman, part of the welcoming committee that will include both Serbians and Bosnians. The film tells this family's story against a backdrop of the race to clean up the town's act. Standing in the way of the visit and possibly connected to Adnan's death is the local pimp and smuggler Velija (Senad Basic) who thinks no good will come from the President's tour. As the day of his arrival draws nearer, Zaim sets off to hunt for his son; relationships and tempers start to fray.

This is an engaging, enjoyable film. The acting is utterly convincing and the plot so tight you could bounce things on it. The characters, too, are carefully rounded and convincing, with even the bit part players feeling perfectly realised. Funny and tragic by turns, it is a dynamic offering, showing that it's not just war, but the aftermath, which can tear communities apart.

Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2003
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The war in Bosnia is over, but the trouble is just beginning.
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Director: Pjer Zalica

Writer: Ahmed Imamovic, Pjer Zalica

Starring: Izudin Bajrovic, Senad Basic, Enis Beslagic, Gordana Boban, Bogdan Diklic, Fedja Stukan

Year: 2003

Runtime: 105 minutes

Country: Bosnia-Herzegovina/Austria/Turkey/France


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