This rambunctious and phantasmagorical drama covers the political convulsions in Yugoslavia from 1941 through 1992. It was named the Best Foreign Film of 1997 by the National Society of Film Critics. Writer and director Emir Kusturica's black comic perspective revels in the obstreperousness of the human spirit in the face of repression and persecution.
The two lead characters, Marko and Blacky, are wheeler-dealers in Belgrade when the Nazis take over. While his friend is recuperating from wounds received at the hands of the Gestapo, Marco steals his lover Natalija, an actress. Twenty years later, Blacky and others are still hiding underground in a cellar where they have a munitions factory. This metaphor provides a wry commentary on the insularity of Yugoslav communism under Tito.
Underground is only recommended for the very adventuresome filmgoer. It offers a zany overview of the treacherous path of politics in Yugoslavia leading to the outbreak of civil war in 1992. The colorful and strident gypsy music by Goran Bregovic is right in sync with the fast-forward momentum of the film.