ⓘ No Man's Land (2001 film)


ⓘ No Mans Land (2001 film)

No Mans Land is a 2001 war film that is set in the midst of the Bosnian War. The film is a parable and marked the debut of Bosnian writer and director Danis Tanovic. It is a co-production among companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Italy, France, Belgium and the UK. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001.


1. Plot

Two wounded soldiers, a Bosniak Čiki, portrayed by Branko Duric and a Bosnian Serb Nino, portrayed by Rene Bitorajac are caught between their lines in the no mans land, in a struggle for survival. The two soldiers confront each other in a trench, where they wait for dark. They trade insults and even find some common ground. Confounding the situation is another wounded Bosniak soldier Cera, portrayed by Filip Sovagovic who wakes from unconsciousness. A land mine had been buried beneath him by the Bosnian Serbs; should he make any move, it would be fatal.

A French sergeant Marchand, portrayed by Georges Siatidis, of the United Nations Protection Force UNPROFOR, gets involved in effort to help the three trapped soldiers, despite initial orders to the contrary by high command. UNPROFORs mission in Bosnia was to guard the humanitarian aid convoys, to remain neutral and act as a mere bystander. Luckily, an English reporter arrives on scene, bringing media pressure to bear that moves the United Nations high command to swing into action to try to save the soldiers.

A row between the stressed out and fatigued Čiki and Nino gradually escalates even after being rescued. Eventually, Čiki shoots Nino and is in turn shot by a Peacekeeper. Meanwhile, it is found that the mine cannot be defused. The UNPROFOR high command tries to save face: they lie, saying that Cera has been saved and they leave the area, along with the reporters and everyone else.

In reality, Cera is left alone and desolate in the trenches, still immobilized by the mine. Meanwhile, the UNPROFOR commander has arranged false information to be passed to both Bosnian and Serb troops, to make them believe their enemies will be trying to reoccupy the trench at night which each side would try to counter with an artillery barrage that presumably will kill Cera and obliterate the evidence.


2. Cast

  • Alain Eloy - Pierre
  • Katrin Cartlidge - Jane Livingstone, journalist
  • Bogdan Diklic - Serbian officer
  • Branko Duric - Čiki
  • Simon Callow - Colonel Soft
  • Georges Siatidis - Sergeant Marchand
  • Boro Stjepanovic - Bosnian soldier
  • Mustafa Nadarevic - Older Serbian soldier
  • Serge-Henri Valcke - Captain Dubois
  • Rene Bitorajac - Nino
  • Tanja Ribic - Martha
  • Filip Sovagovic - Cera
  • Sacha Kremer - Michel
  • Branko Zavrsan - Deminer

3. Accolades

Some of the awadrs that the film won are:

  • Best Screenplay, 2001 Cannes Film Festival
  • Best Foreign Language Film, 2002 74th Academy Awards
  • Best Foreign Language Film, 2002 59th Golden Globe Awards
  • Best Screenplay Award, European Film Academy