Life Is a Miracle (image 1)

Critics’ Choice: A rambunctious rom-com from Serbian absurdist Emir Kusturica.

Time Out

Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

Life Is a Miracle 2004

Zivot je cudo

Directed by Emir Kusturica

A brilliantly choreographed extravaganza, complete with lovesick donkey and home-invading bear, Life Is a Miracle marks the overdue return to the screen of Balkan maestro Emir Kusturica (Black Cat, White Cat).

France / Serbia and Montenegro In Bosnian, English, German and Serbian with English subtitles
154 minutes 35mm



Ranko Bozic
Emir Kusturica


Michel Amathieu


Svetolik Mica Zajc


Dejan Sparavalo
Emir Kusturica


Slavko Stimac
Natasa Solak
Vesna Trivalic
Vuk Kostic


Cannes (In Competition), Melbourne, Pusan 2004; Sydney 2005


Audience Award, Melbourne 2004


A brilliantly choreographed three-ring circus, complete with lovesick donkey and home-invading bear, Life Is a Miracle marks the overdue return to the screen of Serbian maestro Emir Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies, Black Cat, White Cat). His boisterous, absurdist vision of the outbreak of war in 1992 swirls around Luka, a Serbian railway engineer living in the tiny Bosnian town of Golobuci, with his manic-depressive opera-singing wife and his soccer-star son Milos. War brings drastic changes, not least his wife’s elopement with a sleazy Hungarian musician and his own irresistible attraction to the blonde Muslim nurse who is supposed to be his hostage…

“There is enough inventiveness in Emir Kusturica’s new film to keep another director in plots for a decade… Life Is a Miracle is a comic celebration of Balkan joie de vivre and the beauty of the Bosnian countryside (80 per cent of the film is shot outdoors, through the changing seasons); a story of one man’s obsessive dream and the havoc that it wreaks on those around him; a forceful and ironic polemic against conventional readings of the politics of the break-up of Yugoslavia; and a tragic tale of impossible love which makes explicit allusion to Shakespeare… Luka and Milos have a recurrent conversation, ostensibly about football, on the relative importance of speed and feeling, concluding that what is needed is a mix of the two. Life Is a Miracle has both in abundance.” — Julian Graffy, Sight & Sound