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4.6 out of 5 stars
62
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2005
This is a riot of a film - as one has come to expect from Kusturica. Filled with the joy of life, it is set in a wild Balkan Gypsy milieu of gangsters and their bling, dwarf brides "waiting for Mr Right", gallows humour (quite literally) and a father who refuses to stay dead long enough to make it to his own funeral. With characters and action like that, it is a million miles away from the worthiness and dullness of some European cinema, and refuses point-blank to take itself seriously even for one minute. It taught me the secret of writing pure comedy - the behaviour must be so outrageous as to be utterly beyond belief - for life itself has a habit of turning what might be tragic into comic relief.
A Roma man owes a debt to Dadan, a gypsy mafioso surrounded by girls in white body-stockings and eye-popping make-up. In exchange for cancelling the debt, Dadan forces him to marry off his 17-year-old son to Afrodita, his stunted sister. The son has other ideas and another girlfriend, and searches for excuse after excuse not to marry her; while Afrodita equally has plans of her own. Into all this chaos comes the man's father, a snaggle-toothed veteran swindler now retired to a preposterously upholstered bed, who has a habit of stopping the show at critical moments to ensure the reluctant bride and groom are allowed to go their own way.
Mostly in the language of the Roma but occasionally lapsing into Serbo-Croat, the film detaches the word "Balkan" from "balkanisation" and proves that despite the upheavals of the last fifteen years Yugoslavia can become known for something other than blown-apart houses and desperate refugees tugging at western heart-strings. It also paints Roma life in bold, shocking colours; there are no heroes or villains in the story, just human beings as they are and as they should be - full of lust, vigour and chaos. A masterpiece of mayhem from Europe's most gifted director.
Oh yes - three more words - pit bull...terrier! This nutty pop-song provides Dadan with just the right kind of theme tune and was subsequently blasting out of every hi-fi in the Balkans.
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on 27 July 2000
What a marvel this film is. (Marvel! ) Like Underground, regrettably the only other Kusturica film I've seen, it growls with energy and sparkles with wit. It's sheer inventiveness could shame a hotel full of rooms full of American screenwriters. It's gloriously messy and sweetly clean, and as you can read very hard to describe. But you don't read about Kusturica, you just have to watch and see and behold. Enjoy. You will.
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on 9 November 2000
The only time I have been to the cinema and the audience have applauded a film they wish had not ended - not bad for a bunch of reserved Brits! This is truly a fantastic film.
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on 8 December 2000
...is perhaps insufficient to describe the glorious vital life that this film exudes! Kusturica was right to work with an almost completely-amateur cast - the spontaniety and comic timing is brilliant. Highly recommended.
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on 30 May 2006
Probably one of the best movies I've seen. I have not seen anything like it since seeing it 10 years ago. I would watch it only for the gypsy music does not stop it's like a tumulinous croud of musicians. The story line is clear with unexpected twists and full of comical action. It is difficult to express how great this film is as it made me laugh cry and fill with admiration for the director/writers.
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on 7 March 2015
Great film with some excellent acting performances, particularly from the villain, and incredible music you may find yourself getting up and dancing to in front of the TV.

My attempt to describe it is: riotous gypsy mafia romantic comedy caper. It's completely bonkers and at times is nonsense, utterly adorable nonsense. A scene at the end, involving a Goose, had me in stitches.
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on 31 December 2013
I happen to know the area described in this film, and I think it is accurate to its subject. It's a clever film that normally comes under the art-house movie category. Actually it's a broad comedy about Roma life on the Danube at the junction of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, near Vidin and Calafat. Fantastic soundtrack, if you like Gypsy wedding music and Pitbull. Fascinating insight into life of the people around there. The same sort of people who feature as the fictional Kazakstanis in "Borat" - actually filmed in the same sort of area as the backdrop to this film. My partner hated this film, so that's another good clue as to whether you will enjoy it. She's a David Cassidy fan, and thinks Russell Howard is funny.
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on 18 June 2007
I saw this film after seeing Kusturica's Underground, and it was every bit as good. I loved everything about it - the humour, the characters, the way it was shot and most of all the music, which should have anyone who loves the Balkans dancing around the room or rolling around with laughter ('az sum Pitbull Terri-eri-er'... classic). I truly can't recommend this film enough and I am looking forward to seeing some more of this great director's wonderful films.
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on 23 February 2007
Black Cat White Cat is a bizzare yet very funny comedy about the Serbian Gypsy community. Both surreal and farcical the film plots the comic twists and turns of the forced marriage of its teenage protagonist. Not intellectual, but very funny.
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on 9 March 2000
Wonderful pace, great music , hilarious comedy, fun for all ! I recommend this to anyone
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