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Picks and Pans Review: No Man's Land

updated 12/17/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/17/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac

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It's 1993 and the Bosnian war is raging. Two opposing soldiers—Ciki (Djuric), who is Bosnian, and Nino (Bitorajac), a Serb—are stranded together in a trench between enemy lines. Their situation is tough enough, but a third soldier, Cera (Filip Sovagovic), a wounded Bosnian, is also in the trench and has the extreme misfortune to be lying atop a mine that will explode if he moves.

Over the course of a long, tense day in the spare but affecting No Man's Land, Ciki and Nino must put aside their differences long enough to save themselves and, if they can, Cera. Their horrifying plight soon attracts the attention of U.N. forces and journalists, though what help either can offer is questionable. Director-writer Danis Tanovic, who was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, has made a moving antiwar film that is by turns comic, hopeful and, finally, heartbreaking. (R)

Bottom Line: Timely and terrific

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