- Emir Kusturica
Kusturica at the Guadalajara Film Festival 2009.
Born Emir Kusturica
24 November 1954
Sarajevo, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Nationality Serbian Other names Emir Occupation Film director and screenwriter Years active 1978–present Spouse Maja Kusturica Children Stribor Kusturica
Emir Nemanja Kusturica (Cyrillic: Емир Немања Кустурица, Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: ['ɛ̌mi:r 'kǔsturitsa]), (born 24 November 1954 in Sarajevo) is a Serbian filmmaker, actor and musician, recognized for several internationally acclaimed feature films. He is a two-time winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes (for When Father Was Away on Business and Underground), as well as being a Commander of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Life and work
Early life and works
Born to Murat Kusturica, a journalist employed at the Sarajevo's Secretariat of Information, and Senka Numankadić, a court secretary, Emir grew up as the only child of a secular Bosnian Muslim family in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then a constituent republic within Yugoslavia.
Emir was something of a delinquent while growing up in the Sarajevo neighbourhood of Gorica, according to his own account. Through his father's friendship with the well-known director Hajrudin "Šiba" Krvavac, 17-year-old Emir got a small part in Krvavac's 1972 Walter Defends Sarajevo, a partisan film funded by the Yugoslav state.
After graduating from the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) in 1978, Kusturica began directing made-for-TV television shorts in then-Yugoslavia. He made his feature film debut in 1981 with Do You Remember Dolly Bell?, which won the prestigious Golden Lion for Best First Work at that year's Venice Film Festival. From 1981 to 1988, he was a lecturer at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo (Akademija Scenskih Umjetnosti) and art director of Open Stage Obala (Otvorena scena Obala).
His second feature film, When Father Was Away on Business (1985), earned a Palme d'Or at Cannes and five Yugoslavian movie awards, as well as a nomination for an American Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Kusturica wrote the screenplays for both Do You Remember Dolly Bell? and When Father Was Away on Business in collaboration with Abdulah Sidran. In 1989, Kusturica earned more accolades for Time of the Gypsies, a film about Romani culture and the exploitation of their youth.
Kusturica continued to make highly regarded films into the next decade, including his American debut, the absurdist comedy Arizona Dream (1993). He won the Palme d'Or for his black comedy epic, Underground (1995), based upon a scenario of Dušan Kovačević, a noted Serbian playwright.
In 1998, he won the Venice Film Festival's Silver Lion for Best Direction for Black Cat, White Cat, a farcical comedy set in a Gypsy (Romany) settlement on the banks of the Danube. The music for the film was composed by the Belgrade-based band No Smoking Orchestra.
Recent life and work
In 2001, Kusturica directed Super 8 Stories, a documentary road and concert movie about The No Smoking Orchestra, of which he is a band member. He was appointed President of the Jury of the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
His film Promise Me This premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. During 2007, Kusturica prepared a punk opera, Times of the Gypsies. The premiere took place in June 2007, at the Opéra Bastille in Paris. The next month, Kusturica directed the music video to Manu Chao's single "Rainin In Paradize", from the latter's forthcoming album.
Since January 2008, Kusturica annually organizes a private Küstendorf Film Festival. Its first installment was held at Drvengrad, a village built for his film Life Is a Miracle, from 14 to 21 January 2008.
His next film, Cool Water, is a comedy set against the background of a Middle East conflict. Filming started in November 2010 in Germany. It is the first time Emir Kusturica directed a film which he did not write.
At the 64th Cannes Film Festival, held 11–22 May 2011, Kusturica presided over the jury of the Un Certain Regard section of the festival's official selection. On 14 May, in Cannes, he was invested with the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, the highest decoration in France.
Kusturica first performed in The Widow of St. Pierre (2000), a movie by director Patrice Leconte. In 2002, Emir Kusturica appeared as an electric guitar player/security specialist in The Good Thief, directed by Neil Jordan.
In the French movie L'affaire Farewell (2009), he played the role of Russian KGB agent Colonel Sergei Gregoriev, the central focus of a web of intrigue between warring governments and rival spy agencies. He conveyed effortless charisma, authority and humor.
Although Kusturica played a minor musical role in the band, he returned to the group following the Black Cat, White Cat film and the band's name changed to Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra. In 1999, the No Smoking Orchestra recorded a new album, Unza Unza Time, produced by the Universal record company, as well as a music video, directed by Emir Kusturica. The band has been touring internationally since 1999.
Kusturica's autobiography, Smrt je neprovjerena glasina (Death is an Unverified Rumour), was published in October 2010 in Belgrade by Novosti AD. The launch took place on 26 October during Belgrade Book Fair and was attended by Nele Karajlić, Dušan Kovačević, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić, Vojislav Koštunica. Released only in Serbia, Montenegro, and Republika Srpska, the book was initially printed in 20,000 copies that were quickly sold. Second printing in 32,000 copies was out in November and it too sold within weeks. On 8 December, the third printing in 40,000 copies was out and promoted a day later at Belgrade's Dom Sindikata. In February 2011, fourth printing with further 10,000 copies was out and soon the sale of 100,000th copy was announced.
Translations were published in Italy on 30 March 2011 under the title Dove sono in questa storia ("Where am I in this Story"), in France on 6 April 2011 as Où suis-je dans cette histoire ?, and in Germany in September 2011 as Der Tod ist ein unbestätigtes Gerücht.
Kusturica and his work have provoked controversy at home and abroad. Underground, scripted by Dušan Kovačević, was partly financed by state-owned Yugoslav television. It recounted the history of Yugoslavia from World War II until the conflict in the 1990s. Some critics claimed Kusturica promoted a pro-Serbian view of the Yugoslav Wars, including ethnic animosities during WWII. Some Bosnian and French critics claimed the film contained pro-Serb propaganda.
"In recognizing 'Underground', the Cannes jury thought it was honouring a creator with a thriving imagination. In fact, it has honoured a servile and flashy illustrator of criminal clichés. The Cannes jury highly praised a version of the most hackneyed and deceitful Serb propaganda. The devil himself could not have conceived so cruel an outrage against Bosnia, nor such a grotesque epilogue to Western incompetence and frivolity."
In a discussion with Bernard-Henri Levy, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek said,
"I hope we share another point, which is – to be brutal – hatred of [director] Emir Kusturica. Underground is one of the most horrible films that I've seen. What kind of Yugoslav society do you see in Kusturica's Underground? A society where people fornicate, drink, fight – a kind of eternal orgy."
The Bosnian novelist Aleksandar Hemon, who was born in Sarajevo and emigrated to the United States before the war, said Underground downplays Serbian atrocities by presenting "the Balkan war as a product of collective, innate, savage madness."
"Considering he proclaimed his dead father a Serb, and himself, Emir, an Orthodox Christian, he easily chose his own in the Bosnian War. He recognized them in Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić. He wasn't there to fire cannon barrages, but whenever he could, with his artistic and media get-up he provided them an alibi for every killed Muslim who didn't want to admit that he was originally an 'Orthodox Christian'."
Kusturica sued Nikolaidis and the Monitor newspaper for civil damages at the Supreme Court of Montenegro. The journalist quoted Kusturica's numerous pro-Milošević public statements, and used photos of Kusturica hugging Jovica Stanišić (chief of Serbian State Security Service). Stanišić is being tried for war crimes in the Hague. He also showed Kusturica with Milorad Vučelić (director of Serbian television) and Zoran Lilić (at the time president of Yugoslavia). In the end, Nikolaidis was ordered to pay $6,490 to Kusturica for calling the famed director a "media star of Milosevic's war machinery". The judge ruled that the evidence was not credible enough. In the end Nikolaidis and the paper were fined 12,000 euros for breaking the code of journalism by calling Kusturica "stupid, ugly and corrupt" in the article. The Bosnian Writers Association sponsored a petition calling for the recall of the verdict, because they believed it denied basic human rights (of free speech). The petition was supported and signed by prominent intellectuals and many students from former Yugoslavia and abroad.
2010 Antalya festival
In October 2010 Kusturica withdrew from the jury of Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival after being publicly criticized and accused by Turkish director Semih Kaplanoğlu and Turkish minister of culture Ertuğrul Günay over his alleged remarks and opinions about the Bosnian War.
The criticism of Kusturica was started by an organization called the Turkish-Bosnian Cultural Federation as soon as Kusturica was announced as a jury member. The Turkish media reported that Kusturica repeatedly downplayed the number killed and the rapes of Muslim women. It was not clear when Kusturica was supposed to have made those comments, but the daily Milliyet said Kusturica denied the allegations.
Public sentiment in Turkey was whipped up against Kusturica to the point that a couple of days after Kusturica left Turkey, there were news reports about a mob of Turkish youths in Antalya physically assaulting Swiss actor Michael Neuenschwander (in town to promote his movie 180° – Wenn deine Welt plötzlich Kopf steht) because they mistook him for Kusturica due to apparent physical resemblance between the two. Later, Neuenschwander's press agent said there was no physical assault and that Neuenschwander was verbally abused by a small group.
Kusturica later commented on the incident:
“ I did receive a sincere apology from the mayor of Antalya Mustafa Akaydın over what happened. Essentially, I became collateral damage in the ongoing political fight between the central powers from the ruling coalition in Istanbul and the municipal authorities in Antalya where the local power is held by a social-democrat party. But regardless of everything, this is completely unacceptable on a basic level - when you're an invited guest somewhere, your hosts simply can not behave in this manner. And this run-in I had was with a part of Turkish society, the part that consists of highly-evolved primitives. I am not a politician and I'm not obliged to comment on and dissect every crime or genocide around the world. And then I got very angry and I told them if they're so sensitive about genocide it would be much better for them to publicly condemn the genocide they committed against the Armenian people, before having a go at me with accusatory statements. I clearly condemned the crimes in Bosnia, but the 'problem' is that I condemned the crimes committed by all sides, which makes me incompatible with the strategy they have for Bosnia. ”
On Đurđevdan (St. George's Day) in 2005, he was baptised into the Serbian Orthodox Church as Nemanja Kusturica (Немања Кустурица) in Savina monastery near Herceg Novi, Montenegro. To his critics who considered this the final betrayal of his Bosnian Muslim roots, he replied that:
“ My father was an atheist and he always described himself as a Serb. OK, maybe we were Muslim for 250 years, but we were Orthodox before that and deep down we were always Serbs, religion cannot change that. We only became Muslims to survive the Turks. ”
Kusturica traces his family origin before the conversion to Islam, to the Babić family, precisely to a Kusturica that helped build the Arslanagić bridge in the 18th century, that hailed from Bileća (He took the surname Kusturica when Islamized).
At the 2007 parliamentary elections, he gave indirect support to Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica and his right wing Democratic Party of Serbia. In 2007, he also supported the Serbian campaign Solidarity - Kosovo is Serbia, a campaign against the unilateral separation of the Serbian province of Kosovo.
Marriage and family
Emir Kusturica is married to Maja Mandić, daughter of a "Bosnian Serb (Miloš Mandić) and a Slovene-Croat (Ljerka Kušec). His children are Stribor, 30, and Dunja, 24."
- As director
- Guernica, 1978, short
- The Brides Are Coming (Nevjeste dolaze), 1978, TV film
- Buffet Titanic (Bife Titanik), 1979, TV film
- Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (Sjećaš li se Dolly Bell), 1981
- Nije čovjek ko ne umre, 1984, TV film
- When Father Was Away on Business (Otac na službenom putu), 1985
- Time of the Gypsies (Dom za vešanje), 1988
- Arizona Dream, 1993
- Underground (Podzemlje), 1995
- Black Cat, White Cat (Crna mačka, beli mačor), 1998
- Super 8 Stories, 2001, documentary
- Life Is a Miracle (Život je čudo), 2004
- Promise Me This (Zavet), 2007
- Maradona, 2008, documentary
- Tweaker's Delight, 2011 (pre-production)
- Cool Water, 2012 (pre-production)
- Wild Roses, Tender Roses, 2012 (pre-production)
- As actor
- The Widow of Saint-Pierre, 2000
- The Good Thief, 2002
- L'affaire Farewell (Farewell), 2010
- 1st prize on Student's Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, (1978) for Guernica
- Golden Lion for "Best First Work" in Venice Film Festival, (1981) for Do You Remember Dolly Bell?
- Golden palm Cannes Film Festival, (1985) for When Father Was Away on Business
- FIPRESCI prize Cannes Film Festival, (1985) for When Father Was Away on Business
- Best Foreign Language Academy Award Nomination, (1985) for When Father Was Away on Business
- Best Director award at Cannes Film Festival, (1989) for Time of Gypsies
- Silver Bear – Special Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, (1993) for Arizona Dream
- Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival, (1995) for Underground
- Silver Plate of best documentary at Chicago International Film Festival, (2001) for Super 8 Stories
- Cinema Prize of the French Education System at Cannes Festival (2004) for Life is a Miracle
- Best European Union Film at César Awards, (2005) for Life is a Miracle
- Philippe Rotthier European Architecture Award, (2005) for Küstendorf village in Serbia
- On 10 February 2007, Kusturica received Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest order in recognition of significant contribution to the arts.
- Emir Kusturica is the winner of the Philippe Rotthier European Architecture Award for his Küstendorf ethnic village project (also called Drvengrad – a “wooden town”) on Mt. Zlatibor, Serbia, in 2005. The prize is awarded every three years by the Brussels Foundation for Architecture.
- In 2004, The Prix de l'Education nationale (National Education Prize) honored Emir Kusturica and his film Život je čudo (Life is a Miracle).
- On 8 april 2011, Kusturica was the first person ever to receive "Momo Kapor award", for his book Death is an Unverified Rumour
- In 2011, Kusturica won "Tipar award" for satire, awarded in the city of Pljevlja
- ^ a b Emir Kusturica. "Biography". Kustu.com. http://www.kustu.com/w2/en:biography. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- ^ "Politika". Politika.rs. http://www.politika.rs/detaljno.php?nid=19321. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ "Ministere de la culture". Culture.gouv.fr. http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/communiq/donnedieu/kusturica.html. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Croatia. "INTERVIEW: EMIR NEMANJA KUSTURICA, ''Globus'', February 2009". Globus.com.hr. http://www.globus.com.hr/Clanak.aspx?BrojID=307&ClanakID=8519&Stranica=4#. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ a b c Halpern, Dan (8 May 2005). "The (Mis)Directions of Emir Kusturica". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/magazine/08EMIR.html?_r=1. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- ^ "Biography". Kustu.com. http://www.kustu.com/w2/en:biography. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ "Festival de Cannes: Promise Me This". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/4429309/year/2007.html. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
- ^ Emir Kusturica i Voja Brajović najavili su prvi filmski festival „Kustendorf" u Drvengradu na Mokroj Gori, PRESS, 14.12.2007
- ^ "Emir Kusturica named Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur". Festival de Cannes. 14 May 2011.
- ^ http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/kultura.71.html:305333-Kusturica-hit-Sajma
- ^ http://english.blic.rs/Culture-Showbiz/7046/When-not-said-is-more-important-than-said
- ^ http://kustu.com/w2/en:smrt_je_neprovjerena_glasina
- ^ Trece;Novosti
- ^ Bakice umalo nisu stradale zbog Kuste;MTS Mondo, 9 December 2010
- ^ „Neprovjerena glasina“ dobila stohiljaditog čitaoca;Večernje novosti, 17 February 2011
- ^ Dove sono in questa storia ISBN 978-8807018398
- ^ Où suis-je dans cette histoire ? ISBN 978-2709619158
- ^ Der Tod ist ein unbestätigtes Gerücht;RandomHouse.de
- ^ "Emir Kusturica: Encyclopedia II – Emir Kusturica – Controversy". Experiencefestival.com. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Emir_Kusturica_-_Controversy/id/5020343. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ "Emir Kusturica: Encyclopedia II – Emir Kusturica – Life and work". Experiencefestival.com. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Emir_Kusturica_-_Life_and_work/id/5020342. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ a b Serb director tries for third triumph, The Guardian, 15 May 2004
- ^ a b Dispute Leads Bosnian to Quit Films, The New York Times, 5 December 1995
- ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=KZf7iYGxTfIC&lpg=PA120&ots=Q7FhIC_Mfc&dq=finkielkraut%20tudjman&pg=PA120#v=onepage&q=finkielkraut%20tudjman&f=false
- ^ "The polemic 'Underground'". Kustu.com. http://kustu.com/w2/en:polemics. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Cédric Housez,Voltaire. ""Alain Finkielkraut and Bernard Henry Lévy, two propagandists of the 'clash of civilizations' ", Voltaire]". Voltairenet.org. http://www.voltairenet.org/article30277.html. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ "Faut-il brûler Underground?". L'Express. France. 19 October 1995. http://www.lexpress.fr/informations/faut-il-bruler-underground_610275.html. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Notes from the underground: the ... – Google Books. Google Books. 2 June 1995. http://books.google.com/books?id=IDktuer8qcAC&lpg=PA42&ots=aRXRSjyxtH&dq=finkielkraut%20underground&pg=PA42#v=onepage&q=finkielkraut%20underground&f=false. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ "Slavoj Žižek interview". Euronews, shown again on Youtube.com. 13 September 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzM8tqjmCU8. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Halpern, Dan (8 May 2005). "The (Mis)Directions of Emir Kusturica". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/magazine/08EMIR.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- ^ "Victoria Advocate". Newsbank. 17 November 2004. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=VA&p_theme=va&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=1066699784919DBF&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Il caso Kusturica, 23 February 2005 (in Italian)
- ^ "Blic Online | Vrhovni sud Crne Gore presudio u korist Kusturice". Blic.rs. http://www.blic.rs/hronika.php?id=110061. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ a b c "Kusturica Quits Film Festival Jury in Turkey", ABC News, Retrieved on 11 October 2010.
- ^ Kritike Kusturice u Turskoj;Blic, 20 September 2010
- ^ Prebijen glumac koji liči na slavnog reditelja – Kusta: Dobro je da sam otišao iz Turske; Blic, 16 October 2010
- ^ Saldırıya uğramadı, sözlü tepki gördü; Haberturk, 16.10.2010
- ^ 
- ^ a b "Article about Kusturica's religion on". Pionirovglasnik.com. 26 July 2005. http://www.pionirovglasnik.com/index.php?category=39&content=315. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ "News of Kusturica's baptism". Hem.passagen.se. http://hem.passagen.se/hambarine/Vijesti/23072005Kusturica.htm. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Emir Kusturica (4 March 2005). "An interview for Guardian". London: Film.guardian.co.uk. http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,1429569,00.html. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Glas Javnosti, 19. Jan 2001, Ko je ovaj čovek: Emir Kusturica, by Zorica Vulić
- ^ "Film director Emir Kusturica attends the final pre-elections rally of Democratic Party of Serbia in Belgrade 17 January 2007". (Reuters), 2space.net. 1 January 1970. http://www.2space.net/news/article.php?art=15890&ut=1169058300. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ Iva Martinović (12 November 2007). "Radio Slobodna Evropa article". Slobodnaevropa.org. http://www.slobodnaevropa.org/content/Article/719300.html. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- ^ "Festival de Cannes: Time of the Gypsies". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/227/year/1989.html. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- ^ Berlinale annual archives – 1993
- ^ "Festival de Cannes: Underground". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/3377/year/1995.html. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
- Gocic, Goran: "The Cinema of Emir Kusturica: Notes from the Underground", Wallflower Press, London, 2001.
- Irodanova, Dina: Emir Kusturica. London. British Film Institute 2002.
- Imsirevic, Almir: "Based on a Truth Story", Sarajevo, 2007.
- Emir Kusturica at the Internet Movie Database
- No Smoking Orchestra – Band official site
- Komuna Belgrade
- Indie Wire, Interview with Kusturica on Black Cat, White Cat
- RTS interview, 26 April 2006 (Serbian)
- Etno selo Nemanje Kusturice na Mećavniku, May, 2007 – www.ciode.ca (Serbian)
Films by Emir Kusturica 1980s 1990s 2000s Documentaries Golden Arena for Best Director at the Pula Film Festival Yugoslav competition
František Čáp (1955) · Branko Bauer (1956) · Soja Jovanović (1957) · Nikola Tanhofer (1958) · Jože Babič (1959) · Veljko Bulajić (1960) · N/A (1961) · N/A (1962) · Branko Bauer / Igor Pretnar (1963) · Žika Mitrović / France Štiglic (1964) · Aleksandar Petrović (1965) · Vatroslav Mimica (1966) · Aleksandar Petrović / Puriša Đorđević (1967) · Živojin Pavlović (1968) · Fedor Škubonja (1969) · Krsto Papić (1970) · Kiril Cenevski (1971) · Aleksandar Petrović (1972) · Matjaž Klopčič (1973) · Zdravko Velimirović (1974) · Matjaž Klopčič (1975) · Goran Paskaljević (1976) · Živojin Pavlović (1977) · Srđan Karanović (1978) · Fadil Hadžić (1979) · Goran Paskaljević (1980) · N/A (1981) · Miloš Radivojević (1982) · Srđan Karanović (1983) · Rajko Grlić (1984) · Emir Kusturica (1985) · Lordan Zafranović (1986) · Vladimir Blaževski (1987) · Žarko Dragojević (1988) · Jože Pogačnik (1989) · Filip Robar Dorin (1990)
Krsto Papić (1992) · Davor Žmegač (1993) · N/A (1994) · Zrinko Ogresta (1995) · Vinko Brešan (1996) · Goran Rušinović (1997) · Krsto Papić (1998) · Zrinko Ogresta (1999) · Lukas Nola (2000) · Lukas Nola (2001) · Dalibor Matanić (2002) · Vinko Brešan (2003) · Antun Vrdoljak (2004) · Tomislav Radić (2005) · Antonio Nuić (2006) · Kristijan Milić (2007) · Arsen Anton Ostojić (2008) · Zvonimir Jurić & Goran Dević (2009) · Rajko Grlić (2010)
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