The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Underground.
Emir Kusturica’s epic masterpiece recounts the demise of his native Yugoslavia through the metaphorical relationship of Blacky and Marko over fifty years. The pair booze and brawl their way through World War II, enhancing their reputations as communist guerrilla fighters and black marketeers until Marko tricks Blacky and others into hiding in his cellar where they manufacture weapons for twenty years under the false understanding that the war continues. This raucous and tragicomic parable won Kusturica the Palme d’Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival and inspired a flurry of controversy that resulted in the filmmaker’s temporary retirement from the cinema. Included here is Kusturica’s stunning, savage, and hilarious theatrical release and his five-hour television version, Once Upon a Time There Was a Country.
- New 4K digital restoration of the theatrical version, approved by director Emir Kusturica, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Once Upon a Time There Was a Country, the 5-hour mini-series cut of Underground for Serbian television
- New interview with Kusturica on his influences, the film, its reception, and its legacy
- Journalist Tommaso Di Francesco on Underground
- Shooting Days: Emir Kusturica Directs Underground, Aleksandar Manic’s 73-minute documentary on the making of Underground
- Underground at Cannes, footage from the post-screening party at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival
- Guernica, Kusturica’s 1978 short film
- Interviews with cast and crew
- Behind the scenes footage
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Sean Homer and production photos