Black Cat, White Cat
Emir Kusturica’s tale of Gypsies living along the banks of the River Danube is a typical riot of bawdiness and scabrous humour.
Octogenarians Grga Pitic (Sabri Sulejman) and Zarije (Zabit Memedov) have been friends for years, but the godfathers of the garbage dump and cement businesses haven’t spoken for a while. When Zarije’s son Matko (Bajram Severdzan) gets himself involved in a ridiculous heist, he approaches Grga for help. But Dadan (Srdan Todorovic), the Gypsy gangster boss overseeing the job, double-crosses Matko. The only way matters can be settled, he states, is for Matko to marry his daughter. But the two have different ideas.
Kusturica’s style of filmmaking, all carnivalesque chaos belies the brilliance of his skill. He revels in half-baked plots and sub-plots as a way of drawing us into the world of his characters. It’s the relationships they have with each other, the colourfulness of their behaviour and their way of seeing the world that has driven films like Time of the Gypsies and While Father Was Away on Business. If Kusturica’s previous film, the Cannes-winning Underground, had been divisive politically, here the filmmaker is working in a lighter, purely comic register. The result is a riotously funny delight.