Emir Kusturica

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Emir Kusturica (2013)

Emir Kusturica [ ɛmiːr kusturitsa ], since its Serbian Orthodox baptism in 2005 also: Nemanja Kusturica , Cyrillic  Емир Кустурица or Немања Кустурица (* 24. November 1954 in Sarajevo , SFR Yugoslavia ) is a film director and musician from Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbian and French citizenship. Today he lives in Belgrade , Paris and in the wooden houses he designed, Drvengrad (with the Hotel Mećavnik), which he calls the coastal village , near the Serbian town of Mokra Gora .


Performance with the No Smoking Orchestra in March 2009.

Emir Kusturica grew up in Sarajevo and studied at the FAMU film school in Prague .

In his films he deals with political issues and is therefore often controversial, especially in his own country during the socialist era. The film Papa is on a business trip , for example, is about the disappearance of a politically unpopular family man. Since the invisible imprisonment in Yugoslavia was not spoken of in public, the disappearance was reduced to the euphemistic formula: na službenom putu (on a business trip). Later Kusturica was criticized in Bosnia and Herzegovina , but also in the West because of his - as he was accused - pro-Serbian viewpoint during the war in the film Underground (Golden Palm in Cannes 1995).

Outside of Yugoslavia, Kusturica was best known for films such as Die Zeit der Zigeuner (1989) and Black Cat, White Kater (1998), which deal with the life of the Roma and other marginalized groups.

By participating in the score for his films, musicians such as Goran Bregović and the Boban Marković Orchestra became known worldwide. Kusturica himself makes music with the band The No Smoking Orchestra (formerly Zabranjeno pušenje ). This band gained international fame through the music for the films Black Cat, White Cat and Life is a Wonder .

In addition to his work as a film writer, Kusturica has also appeared as a director of commercials since the 1990s.

In 2004, his film Das Leben ist ein Wunder was shown in the competition at the Cannes International Film Festival , but was mainly criticized by German experts. Nevertheless, the jury awarded him the “Prix de l'Education Nationale” “for its cinematographic and educational content as well as for its artistic qualities” . The location of the film in the southwestern Serbian district of Mokra Gora near the Bosnian border has been expanded under Kusturica's guidance since 2004 as a village in traditional construction under the name Küstendorf or Etnoselo . Kusturica now also has his own house there, in which he sometimes lives. In 2008 he established the Internacionalni festival filma Kustendorf , which took place for the second time in 2009. The second construction project, Kusturicas, Andrićgrad , has been under construction in the vicinity since 2011 .

In 2005, Emir Kusturica was the head of the jury at the 58th Cannes Film Festival. In May 2005, Kusturica left the monastery Savina near Herceg Novi in Montenegro in the name of Nemanja Kusturica baptized and became a member of the Serbian Orthodox Church .

In 2006, Kusturica began working on a documentary about the Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona . With his feature film Zavet (international English distribution title Promise Me This ) he was represented in the competition at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in 2007 .

In 2008 the film Maradona about the footballer Diego Maradona was officially presented. The work was shown in Cannes outside of the competition. The life story of the Argentine football legend includes a steep career on the sports field, but also consists of drug excesses and personal defeat. Kusturica said of this film: “I come from one of the 24 countries that America bombed after 1954, Serbia. If you say 'don't throw bombs on our land' then you are a nationalist. This film is more than my political stance. It shows the common understanding of the Third World countries. When I identified with Diego's political stance in the film, I discovered the common purpose. My own political statements are stronger, they are unspoken. It was very healing for me to make the film with Diego - with his view of things and his resistance. It was like making a good friend. I don't know if I had one like this before. ”(By Barbara Mayr / Filmreporter.de)

Two new films were in the preparatory phase: Wild Roses, Tender Roses (formerly Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with the Six Fingers ) and Cool Water . Cool Water was supposed to be a comedy against the backdrop of the Middle East conflict. Shooting should start in November 2010 in Germany. Emir Kusturica wanted to direct a foreign script for the first time. The shooting of the new film by Emir Kusturica Wild Roses, Tender Roses , was to follow on from Cool Water . The role of the Mexican freedom fighter Pancho Villa was to be played by Johnny Depp , who was also involved in the 1993 film Arizona Dream . The film should be shot in Mexico, Spain and Serbia, among others.

In 2011, Kusturica headed the Un Certain Regard jury at the 64th Cannes Film Festival .

In 2016 he received his third invitation to the competition of the Venice Film Festival for Na mliječnom putu (English festival title: On the Milky Road ) .

Politics and identity

In interviews and in some songs by his music group The No Smoking Orchestra, Kusturica represents a nationalist position in connection with Greater Serbia and supports the convicted war criminal Radovan Karadžić .

After he had publicly fallen out with the political leadership around Alija Izetbegović in the 1990s and had good media coverage with the Yugoslav political leadership with Slobodan Milošević , he openly confessed himself to be Yugoslav until his Serbian Orthodox baptism in 2005. Due to the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina that was still prevalent then and still today, the subliminal simmering problem of the identity of the Bosniaks (formerly ethnic Muslims ), this led to hostilities, especially in his former homeland, but also in Serbia. In the western world, too, his political proximity to Slobodan Milošević's politics is criticized, as is that of his friend Peter Handke .

Its position shows up u. a. in his songs Ne damo Kosovo ( Eng . We do not give Kosovo ) and Ko ne voli Radovana, ne viđeo Đurđevdana ( Eng . Who does not love Radovan, may not (no longer) experience St. George's Day ), which gives up Radovan Karadžić relates.

Nevertheless, he publicly denotes - in his biography Death is an unconfirmed rumor. My life so far - his earlier support for Milošević as a mistake and “mistake in the direction”. This distancing takes place in the form of a dialogue with his mother Senka when she asks him "Who do you belong to?"

In addition to his work as a director, Emir Kusturica has been President of the Ski Association of Serbia since December 2011 and, since its establishment in 2005, Director of the Nature Park Society of the Šargan - Mokra Gora Nature Park . The State Audit Office raised allegations of misappropriation of state funds at the Nature Park Society, whereupon Kusturica announced his resignation in February 2013 as president of both the Mokra Gora Nature Park Society and the Serbian Ski Association. In April 2014 revealed (and kissed) Kusturica in Towarisch the bronze statue of the Sarajevo-Attentäte rs Gavrilo Princip .


Kusturica in 2009


  • 2007: Time of the Gypsies (Le Temps des Gitans)

Film awards


  • 1989: Roberto Rossellini Prize for life's work
  • 2001: Nastro d'Argento of the Italian Federation of Film Journalists, for his career
  • 2004: Emir Kusturica receives the King Stefan Prize in Belgrade for his career.
  • 2004: Prize of the Moscow International Film Festival for his life's work
  • 2005: Golden Swan in Copenhagen
  • 2005: Winner of the Philippe Rotthier European Architecture Award for his village project Küstendorf
  • 2007: Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
  • 2009: Golden Key of the City of Guadalajara
  • 2009: Emir Kusturica receives the 8½ prize at the Torino Film Festival for the inventive quality of his films and the absolute originality of his style.
  • 2009: Lifetime Achievement Award at the Marrakech International Film Festival
  • 2010: Prize of the International Foundation for the Unity of the Orthodox Peoples , for the Consolidation and Promotion of Christian Society
  • 2010: Emir Kusturica receives the Rome Mediterranean Award at the festival in Taormina, Italy.
  • 2010: Order of the Legion of Honor ( Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur )
  • 2011: On April 8, Emir Kusturica becomes the first writer to receive the " Momo Kapor Award" for his autobiography Death is an unconfirmed rumor. My previous life .
  • 2011: Emir Kusturica receives the "Tipar Award" for satire in Pljevlja (Montenegro).
  • 2011: Golden Camera at the Art Film Festival in Trenčianske Teplice
  • 2012: Order of St. Sava
  • 2012: On July 5, 2012, Emir Kusturica received the Antonio Carlos Jobim Prize at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in Canada.
  • 2013: In July 2013, Emir Kusturica received the "Golden Duke" for his life's work during the Odessa International Film Festival (OIFF).
  • 2014: Magritte d'honneur
  • 2014: Order of the Holy King Milutin, awarded by the Serbian Orthodox Church in Andrićgrad.
  • 2016: Order of Friendship
  • 2017: Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy
  • 2018: Order of the Republike Srpske
  • 2019: Mkiva Humanitarian Award
  • 2019: Medal of Merit


  • Miranda Jakiša: Parallax as a program. The 'dialogical' broadcast of the Emir Kusturica. In: broadcasts. Medial contours between message and distant view . Wladimir Velminski (ed.), Bielefeld 2009, pp. 271–284.
  • Miranda Jakiša: Precarious over-fulfillment. Emir Kusturica's productions of Serbian nationalism In: Trajekte. Journal of the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin , No. 17, September 2008, pp. 47–51.
  • Rüdiger Rossig , Boris Zujko: Emir Kusturica: Singing for the war criminal In: Die Zeit , October 23, 2010. (Article on Kusturica's political positions)
  • Emir Kusturica: "Death is an unconfirmed rumor. My life so far". Translated from the Serbian by Mascha Dabic, Knaus Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-8135-0450-7 .

Web links

Commons : Emir Kusturica  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Interview with Koreni Emir-Nemanja Kusturica
  2. a b Rüdiger Rossig , Boris Zujko: Singing for the war criminal. In: Die Zeit , October 22, 2010.
  3. Orf.at: Kusturica gegen Monitor ( Memento of the original from October 14, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / oe1.orf.at
  4. Srpskapolitika ( Memento of the original of May 22, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.srpskapolitika.com
  5. I zvanično: Kusturica predsednik Skijaškog saveza Serbia. On: www.24sata.rs, December 24, 2011
  6. О управљачу. Sargan - Mokra Gora Nature Park website, accessed on September 18, 2012
  7. Kusturica resigns as head of nature park. On: www.b92.net, February 27, 2013. ( Memento of the original from March 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.b92.net
  8. Kusturici nagrada za životno djelo . Glas Srpske, December 9, 2009
  9. Légion d'honneur: Isabelle Adjani Chevalier, Raymond Aubrac Grand-Croix ( Memento of the original of July 18, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . lesinfos.com, July 15, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / lesinfos.com
  10. Festivalový Denník , June 18, 2011  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 2.5 MB)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.artfilmfest.sk  
  11. Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of October 26, 2016 N 571 "On Awarding the State Awards of the Russian Federation" (Russian)