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Rubbish dump tycoon and gypsy Godfather, Grga Pitic (Sabri Sulejmani) and cement-works owner Zarije (Zabit Mehmedovski) are the best of friends even though they haven't seen each other for 25 years. Zarije's good-for-nothing son Matko (Bajram Severdzan) asks Grga to bankroll a black market deal involving a trainload of petrol, lying about Zarije's death to secure the loan. Matko brings crazed gypsy criminal and former war criminal Dadan (Srdan Todorovic) in on the deal which goes sour, leaving Matko with a debt to Dadan which must be repaid by the enforced marriage of Matko's son Zare (Florijan Ajdini) to Dadan's diminuitive sister Afrodita (Branka Katic). On the wedding day the unhappy couple refuse to co-operate, Zarije appears to die - this time for real - and Grga makes a surprise visit, resulting in chaotic scenes in which wrongs will hopefully be put right.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
It's overlong by ten minutes or so but that's about all I can find to quibble about with this wonderfully ramshackle comedy directed by Emir Kusturica (The Time Of The Gypsies, When Father Was Away On Business, Underground) whose association with gypsy life and culture brings its greatest rewards yet.

Kusturica took a pounding in some critical quarters over his 1994 Cannes Palme d'Or winner Underground and for three years maintained his vow never to make another film. Luckily he changed his mind and returns in championship style by accentuating the positive in a raucous celebration of life and love - any way you can get it.

Finer plot details are too much fun discovering to reveal much more here but what's important is the rollicking good time you'll have with these characters who live on the banks of a Danube river never imagined by Strauss. Coke-crazed hoodlums juggle handgrenades, a pig slowly eats an abandoned car, a frenzy of betting accompanies a bizarre nightclub act involving a piece of wood, a nail and a certain part of the anatomy I won't name. Shots are fired, everyone gets drunk and falls over dancing while geese and chickens squak themselves into a frenzy.

It's life on the edge to us and all in a day's work for Kusturica and company. Highly recommended and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Published July 1, 2004

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CAST: Bajram Severdzan, Florijan Ajdini, Jasar Destani, Bekir, Zabit Mehmedovski, Sabri Sulejman, Srdan Todorovic

DIRECTOR: Emir Kusturica

SCRIPT: Emir Kusturica and Gordan Mihic

RUNNING TIME: 123 minutes

PRESENTATION: widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Underground trailer (film by Emir Kusturica); trailer; Goof Eater Egg


DVD RELEASE: June 23, 2004

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