Underground 1995
An extraordinary, epic film that covers a half century of the history of Yugoslavia, from the Second World War to the civil war that took place during the 1990s, Emir Kusturica’s Underground begins and ends with the statement 'Once upon a time there was a country...'. It’s a phrase that alludes to the conventions of the folk talk form, acting as an index of Kusturica’s carnivalesque approach to the material, whilst also underscoring the fact that the film’s narrative is about a nation state formed after the First World War, occupied during the Second World War and torn apart by the civil war that took place during the 1990s.

The film tells the story of two friends, Marko and Blacky. During WWII in Yugoslavia, they set up an arms shop underground. Marko goes up top to make contacts and sell guns to the resistance, while Blacky remains underground. After the war ends, Marko has made a fortune and earned the respect of the entire country, and so he leaves Blacky underground and convinces him that the war is still going on.

Underground is a film most Western viewers will have a difficult time deconstructing. It is not difficult to appreciate its relentless energy and the bizarre humor that glues together the scattered pieces of its narrative, but many of the truths that actually justify its existence will likely remain elusive. Indeed, one must have lived on the Balkans to understand just how painfully honest the film is.

This release also includes the television edit of the feature, running almost six hours across six episodes and carrying the title Once Upon a Time There Was a Country. This edit expands upon the narrative of the film, using the broader canvas of television to bring increased focus on Marko and Blacky's activities as gangsters, in particular.


Director: Emir Kusturica
Cast: Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski, Mirjana Jokovic, Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic, Mirjana Karanovic
Country: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, France, Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War

BD50 + 2xDVD9 | 1080p AVC, PAL | 02:49:48 | 42.2 Gb + 14.3 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Serbo-Croatian
Subtitles: English

Extras:

Blu-ray:
* The Film
• Trailer - original trailer for Underground. Music only. (1 min).

DVD One:
• Once Upon a Time There Was a Country - presented here are Episodes I-IV of Emir Kusturica's TV version of Underground. In Serbian, with optional English subtitles.

DVD Two:
• Once Upon a Time There Was a Country - presented here are Episodes V-VI of Emir Kusturica's TV version of Underground. In Serbian, with optional English subtitles.

• Shooting Days (1996) - this archival documentary film chronicles the shooting of Underground. The documentary was produced by Aleksandar Manic. In English and Serbian, with optional English subtitles where necessary. (73 min).

• EPK Items - a gallery of archival content (behind the scenes, interviews etc.). In Serbian and English, with optional English subtitles where necessary. (29 min):
1. Behind the Scenes with Emir Kusturica
2. Emir Kusturica Interview
3. Behind the Scenes with Mirjana Jokovic
4. Mirjana Jokovic Interview on Location
5. Behind the Scenes with Miki Manojlovic
6. Miki Manojlovic Interview on Location
7. Behind the Scenes with Lazar Ristovski
8. Lazar Ristovski Interview
9. In the Studio with Miljen 'Kreka' Kljakovic
10. On Location with Miljen 'Kreka' Kljakovic
11. Miljen 'Kreka' Kljakovic
12. B-Roll of The Wedding Party

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