Emir Kusturica

Emir Kusturica

Director

One of the region’s most successful, beloved, and controversial exports, Emir Kusturica has arguably done more than any other director to define the cinema of the post-Yugoslav Balkans. Born in Sarajevo to a Serbian family, Kusturica studied at the storied FAMU film school in Prague. His first two feature films, both Yugoslav period pieces, were lauded on the international stage: Do You Remember Dolly Bell? won the Golden Lion at the Venice Festival in 1981, while When Father Was Away on Business landed the Palme d’Or in 1985. After working in America, he returned to the tragic subject of Yugoslav history with , which won him his second Palme d’Or in 1995. The film provoked a harsh backlash from critics, however, and in light of Kusturica’s political stances during the various wars that followed the collapse of his home country, he withdrew from public life – at least until 1998, when his Roma comedy Black Cat, White Cat was awarded the Silver Lion in Venice. Kusturica’s fondness for slapstick, outré humour, Balkan folk music, and caricatured characterisation continued to shine through in films such as Super 8 Stories (2001) and On the Milky Road (2016), even as his public profile began to fade.

Films