Wednesday, December 29, 2010
SHOULD I READ IT? "No Man's Land"
At this point, the international press in the form of an intrepid female reporter (Jane Livingston) sniffs out the story. She intimidates the U.N. commander into allowing Marchand to go back with her in tow (and the rest of the press – so much for her exclusive!). In a nice and necessary touch, a news report chronicles the war up to this point (an important tutorial for the ignorant American audience). Fearing adverse press coverage, the U.N. now decides to save the men including sending in a bomb disposal expert. They arrive just in time to save Ciki from being knifed by Nino.
The bomb guy is appropriately sweating and in a tense scene (with no music), he discovers that the bomb cannot be defused. I won’t give away the rest.
“No Man’s Land” is highly acclaimed. It won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in an upset over the popular “Amelie”. It won a total of 42 international awards. The set (the trench) is realistic. The situation is believable, if a bit contrived. It is full of surprises. In a normal movie, the bomb would be defused. The rapprochement between Ciki and Nino would bear fruit.
Did you guess the movie is anti-war? It is also instructive of how horrible most civil wars are. It takes some legitimate swipes at the press, stressing its desire for sensational stories. The indictment of the U.N. high command is a bit cliché. We’ve seen corrupt, Machiavellian officers in plenty of movies.
“No Man’s Land” is a bit overrated (possibly out of sympathy for the Bosnians), but still well worth the viewing. Watch it for the interesting dilemma it revolves around and watch it so you won’t feel so guilty about sleeping through a war that killed at least 200,000 people and featured many atrocities.