#237: The Underground (1995/97)

When and how did I watch this?

September 4th, 2015, on YouTube.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Being another foreign film, I did some light homework.  I found the concept of the film interesting, though I knew I was going to be at a disadvantage because of my unfamiliarity with the culture.

What do I know about it now?

The purpose of this film is more so political than entertaining or artistic.  I had trouble following along numerous times — the rowdiness and romp in the first couple of parts really took away from the overall premise, in my opinion.  It was sometimes slapstick, sometimes violent, and rarely serious, which is strange for a WWII film. Again, it’s likely more was lost in translation than I realize. We didn’t finish this one — I felt I garnered the gist of it about 2/3 into it.

What are some themes in the film?

Deception, ethnicity, human desire.

Did this affect me personally?

Sorta.  Definitely some weird stuff that will stick for awhile.

Why is this ranked #237?

I think it gained some momentum in the foreign market at some point in the rating process and possibly serves as one of the best the Slavic region has to offer in cinema.  Otherwise, I’m not sure how this got on here.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She did watch, and repeatedly said it was weird.

Would I watch it again?


Would I recommend it to a friend?

I guess so.  If you have a quality understanding of the region’s strife from WWII through the 80s/90s conflicts, it might do more for you.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

No. Top 1000, perhaps, but I’m not convinced it deserves great attention as a landmark film for any reason. It’s possible I didn’t give it enough of a chance, and I’m likely a bit Western in my standards for film, but it was difficult to get a grip on.  I don’t think that’s my fault, entirely, though I’m likely just missing something.

These guys did a review.  If that’s what you want, this one is pretty comprehensive: http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/underground


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