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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Following the fall of the communist regime in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991, Divko Buntic returns to his former home after a 20-year exile in Germany. Returning with an attractive young girlfriend, a flashy new Mercedes, a pocketful of cash, and a lucky black cat, things are looking good for Divko. When his cat goes missing things begin to fall apart: trouble with his girlfriend and the fledgling relationship with his estranged son are strained as the entire town scrambles to find the cat and collect the cash reward being offered. Divko’s personal tumult mirrors the country's situation at large with signs appearing that the Bosnian War is coming. As the war looms, tensions run high and Divko must decide whether to stay in his newly reestablished home or retreat. (Strand Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Feb 17, 2012
    75
    A family getting evicted from its home is no laughing matter, except if you're watching Cirkus Columbia, a satiric comedy from, of all places, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  2. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Feb 17, 2012
    75
    Its lightheartedness and overtly traditional narrative structure become a smart strategy for crafting what is ultimately a very nuanced political critique of capital.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Mar 8, 2012
    70
    Despite its wobbly tone and stumbles into implausible melodrama, the film succeeds as a study of realignments among friends and family, a gently cracked mirror held up to the insanity that would soon devastate the region.
  4. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Feb 14, 2012
    60
    The tongue is in cheek and the tone is ironic and bleak, at least until the should-we-stay-or-should-we-go climax punctures the mood. Still, welcome back, Danis.
  5. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    Feb 14, 2012
    60
    Though burdened by major problems of tone, Tanovic's fourth feature succeeds in making clear the incredulity with which most people regarded the thought of war and dissolution of Yugoslavia, as well as the machinations of various opportunistic groups.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Feb 16, 2012
    50
    Half of the time, the movie - based on a novel by Ivica Dikic, who collaborated with Mr. Tanovic on the screenplay - has the tone and pace of a farce. The other half, it plays like an unconvincing melodrama. The film assumes knowledge about the history and politics of the former Yugoslavia and the wars involved in its breakup that most Americans don't possess.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 16, 2012
    40
    Director Danis Tanovic never undersells the anger and tension in the family, yet while the emotional underpinnings feel raw, much of "Cirkus" also winds up spinning 'round to obvious, if uncomfortable, places.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 11, 2012
    8
    Having seen "No Man's Land," I had high expectations of this film by Danis Tanovic, too, and they were fulfilled! While the film is not as good as the Oscar winner from 2002, it has great pace and dramatic built-up. It is set in a small Herzegovinian town just before the war escalates in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the change towards the war is splendidly built to a point of culmination at the very end. The acting is pretty good, especially by the excellent Mira Furlan, and the classic Miki Manojlovic. The screenplay is well-paced and very insightful, with good dialogue and interesting plot. Honestly, there is very little to nothing 'wrong' with the film. It is a strong film, and it is to no surprise that it was the Bosnian selection for the Academy Awards in 2010. I'd definitely recommend it, if for nothing else, for providing a beautiful view into the dramatic psychological and socio-political changes that were going on in the former Yugoslavia with lightning speed. Expand

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