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Year: 2004
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Slavko Stimac, Natasa Solak, Vesna Trivalic, Vuk Kostic, Aleksandar Bercek, Stribor Kusturica, Nikola Koj, Mirjana Karanovic, Branislav Lalovic, Davor Janjic, Adnan Omerovic, Obrad Durovic, Dr Nelle Karajlic, Danica Todorovic, Vanessa Glodo, Josif Tatic, Dragan Zurovac, Dejan Sparavalo
Director: Emir Kusturica
Counries: France / Serbia-Montenegro
Language: Serbian / Hungarian / English / German (English subtitles)
UK: 154 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, nudity and drug use
UK Release Date: 11 March 2005


LIFE IS A MIRACLE - in competition at 2004Cannes Film Festival - is the latest film by the unique, award- winning filmmaker Emir Kusturica. Nine years after he won the Palme D'Or for UNDERGROUND, the Bosnian film maker has made again a film about the war that has torn his country. But whereas UNDERGROUND was rather pessimistic, LIFE IS A MIRACLE is an abundant, lively and lyrical story, filled with joy and hope.

In 1991, Luka, a Serb, moves with his extravagant wife, Jadranka, and their son Milos to Bosnia where Luka has to supervise the construction of a railway. But then the war starts. At the same time Milos has to go to the front and Jadranka runs off with another man. But Luka stays optimistic, thinking that they will both be back soon. The Serb army trust him to guard a Muslim hostage, Sabaha, who will be traded for his son Milos. But then Luka falls in love with her...

The film is based on a story that was told to Kusturica in 1995 and he decided to make a film: "This was a magnificent example of how life can react to the war! People lived together peacefully for many years in former Yugoslavia. But when the people went to look for their roots, and they found them, they started to fight and everything disintegrated.... It was hell. But in the midst of it all, it seemed that love was reborn..." Emir Kusturica (Studio Magazine)

Although brutality and suffering are ever present in the film, every scene is filled with extreme vitality and a carnivalesque spirit, supported by the many songs of THE NO SMOKING ORCHESTRA, Kusturica's own band. The title refers to Frank Capra's film: IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and the times when Hollywood was trying to find images for a perfect life. For Kusturica, movies have nothing to do with what's real: "Movies are very artificial but what we have to do is make them organic and logical and get them close to people, close to their emotions, first, and into their brain...What will happen in this movie has very little to do with what was written in the script. That is the way I make movies". Shooting, therefore, took 14 months, like many of his previous movies.

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