Unveiling Emir Kusturica’s cinematic universe at BJIFF

A photo shows Serbian film director Emir Kusturica. /BJIFF

A photo shows Serbian film director Emir Kusturica. /BJIFF

Over the just concluded 14th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF), Serbian film director Emir Kusturica chaired the jury for the Tiantan Award competition section. As a tribute to this longstanding friend of the Chinese people, eight of Kusturica’s works – “The Time of the Gypsies,” “Arizona Dream,” “Underground,” “Black Cat, White Cat,” “Life is a Miracle,” “Promise Me This,” “Maradona,” and “On the Milky Road” – were screened for film enthusiasts.

A poster shows the eight films by Serbian director Emir Kusturica screened during the 14th Beijing International Film Festival. /BJIFF

A poster shows the eight films by Serbian director Emir Kusturica screened during the 14th Beijing International Film Festival. /BJIFF

Born in Sarajevo in 1955, Emir Kusturica enrolled in the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in 1973. In 1981, he released his debut feature film, “Do You Remember Dolly Bell?” which not only competed at the 38th Venice International Film Festival but also garnered accolades such as the Best First Feature Award and the FIPRESCI Prize, marking the beginning of Kusturica’s journey as a master filmmaker.

In 1985 and 1995, Kusturica won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his films “When Father Was Away on Business” and “Underground,” respectively.

Kusturica’s films are renowned for their distinct style, marked by a blend of chaos, whimsy, and surrealism. Drawing inspiration from the fantastical imagery of Marc Chagall’s paintings and paying homage to classic works of cinema, Kusturica creates a unique cinematic universe that fuses elements of French elegance and Russian passion.

A still from Kusturica’s documentary “Maradona.” /BJIFF

A still from Kusturica’s documentary “Maradona.” /BJIFF

Kusturica maintains a close relationship with the Beijing International Film Festival, having participated in related activities during the 2017 edition. This retrospective exhibition of Kusturica’s works will comprehensively showcase his creative career, including his iconic narrative feature films and documentaries featuring soccer legend Maradona and the band The No Smoking Orchestra. Through these eight classic films, audiences will have the opportunity to gain a profound appreciation for the charm of Kusturica’s work and a deeper understanding of this globally acclaimed cinematic master.