Emir Kusturica directing THE BRIDGE ON THE DRINA

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
February 7th, 2011

Sometimes, the U.S. really just doesn’t know what they missing out on.

After becoming one of only six filmmakers in the history of the Cannes Film Festival to win its top prize, the Palme d’Or, twice, it’s been twelve years since director Emir Kusturica has had one of his features see the states in any sort of theatrical release. Toss in the long-gestating WILD ROSES, TENDER ROSES, which actor Johnny Depp continues to leave in his rear view mirror (and now is allegedly off of entirely), and apparently Kusturica can’t find any love on this side of the world.

Well, the states be damned, he’s back with a new project, and it sounds quite intriguing.

According to an interview with Glas Srpske (hat tip to the AFP and The Playlist), he will be adapting the Bosnian novel (side note: Kusturica is Bosnian), The Bridge On The Drina, penned by Nobel Prize winner, Ivo Andric.

Here’s the book’s synopsis:

The Bridge on the Drina is a vivid depiction of the suffering history has imposed upon the people of Bosnia from the late 16th century to the beginning of World War I. As we seek to make sense of the current nightmare in this region, this remarkable, timely book serves as a reliable guide to its people and history.  “No better introduction to the study of Balkan and Ottoman history exists, nor do I know of any work of fiction that more persuasively introduces the reader to a civilization other than our own. It is an intellectual and emotional adventure to encounter the Ottoman world through Andric’s pages in its grandiose beginning and at its tottering finale. It is, in short, a marvelous work, a masterpiece, and very much sui generis. . . . Andric’s sensitive portrait of social change in distant Bosnia has revelatory force.”—William H. McNeill, from the introduction

The director needs to hunt down some good sized funds for the project, and while it’s still very unlikely that the film will hit the States, this is one project I sure as hell hope bucks this silly trend. It sounds like a really interesting film from one of today’s most underrated filmmakers (ARIZONA DREAM is still, to this day, a masterpiece), so it will be interesting to see what comes of it distribution-wise.

What do you think?

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