Founded in 2004, The Birch is the first national undergraduate publication devoted exclusively to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian cultures. Any undergraduate student at any college can submit work. We accept creative writing (poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, short stories), literary criticism (essays and book reviews), and essays on the culture and politics of the region. Visit our website to see past issues: http://thebirchonline.org/.
I like by Bosnian comedy like I like my poppy-seeds: black. If you have similar sentiments, a great film for you will be the 2001 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, No Man’s Land (dir. Danis Tanovic). Set in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Bosnian War. Nino and Tsiki, soldiers from opposing sides, find themselves caught in a trench between the two lines. Meanwhile, a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.
In a brief synopsis, it’s impossible to convey the tension and resultant humor of the film. As can be guessed, the film can be morbid at times, eliciting laughs as a result of absurdity or the offhand, unexpected remark. Apart from the awkward situation outlined in the summary, the film delves into the strange nature of the conflict as a whole (including the UN Peacekeeper conundrum). It doesn’t get too politically or philosophically deep. Ultimately, however, the film, with consistent tension and an equally consistent sardonic attitude, does its job fantastically.