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No Man's Land (2001 film)

No Man's Land
DVD cover
Directed by Danis Tanović
Produced by Cédomir Kolar
Marc Baschet
Frédérique Dumas-Zajdela
Written by Danis Tanović
Starring Branko Đurić
Rene Bitorajac
Filip Šovagović
Music by Danis Tanović
Cinematography Walther vanden Ende
Edited by Francesca Calvelli
Man's Films
Studio Maj
Distributed by Océan Films (France)
Rai Cinema (Italy)
United Artists (US)
Release dates
  • 19 September 2001 (2001-09-19) (France)
  • 28 September 2001 (2001-09-28) (Italy)
  • 10 October 2001 (2001-10-10) (Belgium)
  • 6 November 2001 (2001-11-06) (Slovenia)
  • 17 May 2002 (2002-05-17) (United Kingdom)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget FRF 14 million
Box office USD$4,858,869[2]

No Man's Land (Bosnian: Ničija zemlja) is a 2001 war drama 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 Tanović. It is a co-production among companies in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Italy, France, Belgium and the UK. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001.


Two wounded soldiers, a Bosniak (Čiki, portrayed by Branko Đurić) and a Bosnian Serb (Nino, portrayed by Rene Bitorajac) are caught between their lines in the no man's 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 Šovagović) 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. UNPROFOR's 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).


  • Branko Đurić - Čiki
  • Rene Bitorajac - Nino
  • Filip Šovagović - Cera
  • Georges Siatidis - Sergeant Marchand
  • Serge-Henri Valcke - Captain Dubois
  • Sacha Kremer - Michel
  • Alain Eloy - Pierreles
  • Mustafa Nadarević - Older Serbian soldier
  • Bogdan Diklić - Serbian officer
  • Simon Callow - Colonel Soft
  • Katrin Cartlidge - Jane Livingstone, journalist
  • Tanja Ribič - Martha
  • Branko Zavrsan - German deminer
  • Đuro Utješanović - Bosniak guide
  • Mirza Tanović - Bosniak officer
  • Boro Stjepanović - Bosniak soldier
  • Almir Kurt - Bosniak soldier
  • Ratko Ristić - Bosniak soldier
  • Peter Sedmak - Bosniak soldier
  • Saša Petrović - Bosniak soldier (credited as Aleksandar Petrović)
  • Boris Cindrić - Miralem
  • Danijel Smon - Serbian officer #2
  • Peter Prikratki - Serbian soldier
  • Primož Ranik - Cameraman
  • Jure Plesec - Mark
  • Gordon Wilson - John
  • Maëlys De Rudder - Olivia
  • Alan Fairairn - Bill
  • Michel Obenga - UNPROFOR soldier
  • Rok Strehovec - UNPROFOR soldier
  • Zvone Hribar - Journalist
  • Ales Valic - Journalist
  • Fred M. Liss - Journalist
  • Franc Jakob Rac - Journalist
  • Predrag Brestovac - Rambo
  • Tadej Troha - Young Bosniak soldier
  • Primož Petkovsek - Serbian lieutenant (barricade)
  • Janez Habic - Serbian soldier (barricade)
  • Matej Bizjak - Boy accordionist
  • Marinko Prga - Serbian soldier
  • Darjan Gorela - Serbian soldier
  • Srečko Dzumber - Serbian soldier
  • Uroš Tatomir - Serbian sergeant
  • Matej Recer - Bosniak officer (barricade)
  • Matija Bulatović - Bosniak soldier (barricade)
  • Uros Furst - Bosniak soldier (barricade)
  • Radovan Karadžić - Himself (with François Mitterrand) (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • François Mitterrand - Himself (with Karadžić) (archive footage) (uncredited)


No Man's Land won Prix du scénario at the Cannes Film Festival, followed by numerous awards, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001, while in competition with French Amélie and the Indian blockbuster Lagaan. Tanović was presented the Oscar by John Travolta and Sharon Stone. Briefly after, Tanović thanked everyone who worked with him on the film and supported its creation. He ended his acceptance speech by saying, "This is for my country".

In total, No Man's Land won 42 awards, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the European Film Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the André Cavens Award, the César Award for Best Debut in 2001 and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002.

See also


  1. ^ "No Man's Land - Trailer". Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  2. ^ No Man's Land at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: No Man's Land". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 

External links