NO MAN'S LAND Add To My Top 10

At War With Ourselves

Content -2
Quality
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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Content:

(B, C, H, LLL, VV, S, N, D, M) A moral worldview which may be unintentional which affirms that all men are sinners who are at war with themselves & their fellow men, some redemptive actions & a humanist perspective; 57 obscenities & several faithful appeals to God; battlefield scene of soldiers being shot down by different weapons, man shoots two men, man shoots man at close range, man knifes man, & men shoot each other at close range; visual references to homosexuality (a dead soldier has a nude porno picture in his pocket, another scene where an officer is looking at a pornographic magazine & implied sexual activity between secretary & English UN officer (she comes on to him & a scene where she could be giving him oral sex, although the act is not shown); men running around in underwear & very brief male pornography; constant smoking; and, lying, stealing, deceiving the press & the public, & humoring soldier who is lying on a mine.

Summary:

NO MAN'S LAND is a brilliant comic tragedy about the inhumanity of war by first time 32-year-old Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, about three soldiers during the 1993 Bosnian Serbian War who become trapped in No Man’s Land between the opposing forces. Although the theme is “the black madness of war,” NO MAN’S LAND affirms a biblical principle that all men are sinners who are constantly at war with themselves and others.

Review:

NO MAN'S LAND is a brilliant comic tragedy about the inhumanity of war by first time 32-year-old Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, who has authored many highly-acclaimed documentary films. The fact that this movie was in the Competition for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival is a testimony to the great movies being made outside the American studio system. If these movies ever had a proper release in the U.S., the movie industry would be forever changed. Perhaps, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON is a foretaste of things to come.

Although the theme is “the black madness of war,” the movie affirms a biblical principle that all men are sinners who constantly are at war with themselves and others. The movie seems to suggest, as the Bible affirms, that this situation is not going to change until something drastic happens. Of course, that something drastic is the increase of the kingdom of Jesus Christ and his healing of the hearts of every man and woman who allows him to transform them.

NO MAN'S LAND is a very humorous, satirical tale about two enemy soldiers, Chiki and Nino, who find themselves stranded in No Man's Land during the 1993 Bosnian/Serbian Conflict. The movie opens in a dense fog as a group of Bosnian soldiers try to find their way to the front line to replace their troops. Inadvertently, when the fog lifts, they are directly in front of the Serbian troops who are well positioned in their trenches. The Serbians open fire, and the Bosnian are decimated.

Though wounded, Chiki survives by falling into an unused trench. The Serbs send out two soldiers to find out what happened. They find Chiki, and he shoots them. One, Nino, survives, and Chiki lets him live.

Before Nino’s companion dies, he plants a deadly mine under a presumably dead Bosnian soldier, Cera. Cera, however, awakens, and his friend Chiki is concerned about getting him out alive.

Nino and Chiki revisit the reasons for the war. The upper hand or who has the gun changes several times, exposing each man’s failings. As the movie progresses, each man’s desire for revenge increases dramatically.

As Chiki and Nino try to figure a way out of their bizarre predicament, a brave UN sergeant goes to help them, despite being ordered not to intervene, and the world's press follow, turning the incident into an international news story. In a tense standoff between the many sides involved in the conflict, Nino and Chiki desperately try to negotiate for their lives amidst the insanity of war.

Goaded by a brave reporter named Jane Livingstone, The U.N. tries to solve the problem of these three men in no man’s land. Eventually, the UN soldiers stage a false rescue of the Cera on the mine, the reporters are placated and everyone leaves Cera to his gruesome fate. Before that, however, Nino and Chiki take out their revenge on each other.

Considering the storyline, it is surprising that NO MAN'S LAND is a Franco-Belgian-Italian-Slovenian co-production. One presumes that they did not kill each other.

Director Danis Tanovic does a great job of bringing out the pathos and the bathos in war. He is a master craftsman who had the tough Cannes journalists laughing and crying. His primary actors were incredibly real, and the UN officers in the background were just stereotypical enough to invoke humor without appearing silly. The cinematography was magnificent, making one wonder how anyone could fight a war in this beautiful part of God’s creation. The movie had no delusions that man was redeemable by man. It was clear that people are seriously defective, although intelligent, witty and perceptive.

Regrettably, there are many obscenities in the movie. Also, this is a war movie. People get shot. Blood is spewed, but it is not excessive.

Perhaps, the key to the movie is some dialogue between soldiers at the beginning of the movie: “Hey, do you know the difference between a pessimist and an optimist?” Another soldier shrugs as if he couldn't care less. The first soldier answers his own question, “A pessimist thinks that things couldn't be worse. An optimist knows that they can be.”

In Brief:

NO MAN'S LAND is a brilliant comic tragedy about the inhumanity of war by first time 32-year-old Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, who has authored many highly-acclaimed documentary films. Set during the 1993 Bosnian-Serbian War, the movie tells about three soldiers trapped in No Man’s Land between the opposing forces. Goaded by a brave reporter named Jane Livingstone, the U.N. tries to solve the problem of the men, but things don’t end happily.

Director Danis Tanovic does a great job of bringing out the pathos and the bathos in war. He is a master craftsman who had the tough Cannes journalists laughing and crying. His primary actors were incredibly real, and the UN officers in the background were just stereotypical enough to invoke humor without appearing silly. The cinematography was magnificent, making one wonder how anyone could fight a war in this beautiful part of God’s creation. The movie had no delusions that man was redeemable by man. It was clear that people are seriously defective, although intelligent, witty and perceptive. Regrettably, there are many obscenities in the movie. Also, this is a war movie. People get shot. Blood is spewed, but it is not excessive