No Man’s land by Tanovic: Gripping 1


No Man’s Land

Year: 2001

Writer: Danis Tanovic

Director: Danis Tanovic

Category: Drama

Rating: 4 out of 5

Three wounded soldiers Ciki, Cera (Bosnians) and Nino (Serbian) get caught in a trench in the no man’s land. Cera is lying on a mine that would burst if he moves. There is tension as well as friendship between the three. Nino went to school with Ciki’s ex-girlfriend. They both are trapped in a deadly situation that they want to escape from. But they blame their predicament on each other, keeping them suspicious and leading to periodic breakout of fights between them. The entire war moves metaphorically into the trench

Three bored French soldiers try to rescue them but face stumbling blocks from the UN that prefers to ‘distribute 120 grams of food’ to people than to intervene militarily. Later they are forced to respond as the story goes into the American media. The French team returns with a German bomb disposal expert. A large crew of Western media people follow them and they are joined by the English speaking chief from the UN. And in one symbolic moment, the tragedy of the war between Bosnians and Serbians is put in its international context beautifully by the first time director – Danis Tanovic.

Danis Tanovic’s script and directorial style are the movies strong points. The plot was certainly powerful, but all too often we see directors spoiling a great story by doing too much. Most importantly, they have managed to avoid high-sentimentality, histrionics or powerful speeches by the actors. Reflecting this he said in an interview, “I didn’t want to make another film where you’re just going to blow 200 young soldiers away in the first twelve minutes”. Danis had a powerful story to say, and he did it in style. It’s one movie that a movie lover SHOULD try.

Three bored French soldiers try to rescue them but face stumbling blocks from the UN that prefers to ‘distribute 120 grams of food’ to people than to intervene militarily. Later they are forced to respond as the story goes into the American media. The French team returns with a German bomb disposal expert. A large crew of Western media people follow them and they are joined by the English speaking chief from the UN. And in one symbolic moment, the tragedy of the war between Bosnians and Serbians is put in its international context beautifully by the first time director – Danis Tanovic.

Danis Tanovic’s script and directorial style are the movies strong points. The plot was certainly powerful, but all too often we see directors spoiling a great story by doing too much. Most importantly, they have managed to avoid high-sentimentality, histrionics or powerful speeches by the actors. Reflecting this he said in an <a href=”http://www.iofilm.co.uk/feats/interviews/d/danis_tanovic.shtml” target=”_new”>interview</a>, “I didn’t want to make another film where you’re just going to blow 200 young soldiers away in the first twelve minutes”. Danis had a powerful story to say, and he did it in style. It’s one movie that a movie lover SHOULD try. // –>


About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.


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One thought on “No Man’s land by Tanovic: Gripping

  • Vipul

    A great movie indeed!!
    After watching the movie i felt funny wen amir khans lagaan was nominated for the oscars along with no mans land… No mans land had to win hands down!!