Promise me this
Directed by Emir Kusturica

Starring: Miki Manojlovic, Aleksandar Bercek, Ljiljana Blagojevic, Stribor Kusturica
Serbia-France 2006, 130'
National première
Original version with Italian subtitles

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There's a whole lot of disjointed imagination in Emir Kusturica's latest film Promise me this (Zavet), which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2007 but has never gone on general release in Italy.
On an isolated hillside deep within the Serb countryside live Tsane, his grandfather - an eccentric peasant whose hobby is inventing all kinds of strange devices - and their cow Cvetka. Apart from their not unattractive neighbour Bossa, they are the only people living in the village. One day the old man tells Tsane that he can feel death approaching and he makes his grandson promise to take the cow to market, sell it, and with the proceeds buy a religious icon and a souvenir. He should then find a wife.
Tsane has no problems complying with his grandfather's first three wishes. But how can he get engaged and persuade the girl to come and live with him in the village?
With diabolically comic pacing and one or two irresistible visual effects, the film throws in the blender all the ingredients of Kusturica at his best: a little hero always getting into trouble, a man flying in the skies above Belgrade, a surreal gang of trigger-happy bandits, a turkey that meets an untimely death, plus oodles of contagious Balkan music.

Emir Kusturica
Born in Sarajevo in 1954, Kusturica is the most brilliant European exponent of a cinematic style based on visual inventiveness, genial humour and unfettered, overflowing imagination. His colourful, musical, zany, surreal films, which are a random cocktail of tears and laughter, won him immediate international recognition. In 1981 Remember Dolly Bell won the Fipresi and Leone d'Oro prizes (Venice Film Festival) for best first film; in 1985 Papa is on a business trip won the Fipresi prize again and took the Palme d'Or at Cannes on a unanimous decision. For Il tempo dei gitani (The time of gypsies) (1988) he was awarded his second Palme d'Or as best director. Arizona Dream (1992), his first "American" film, did not make it in the States, despite winning the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.  His masterpiece, Underground (1995), won practically everything in Europe: another Palme d'Or, then the Magic Lantern, the Leoncino d'Oro and Leone d'Argento as best director. For Black cat, white cat (1998) he was awarded a special director's prize at the Venice Film Festival. In 2004 at Cannes Life is a miracle won the César as best European Union film; the following year he was invited to chair the Cannes jury.  Promise me this (Zavet) was made in 2006, as was the documentary Maradona by Kusturica, on the life and works of the "Pibe de oro".
Kusturica is also a musician: he tours the world playing electric guitar with his band No Smoking Orchestra, formed in Sarajevo in 1980.

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Bologna's Cineteca Comunale.