Cirkus Columbia

by Danis Tanović

Cirkus Columbia


Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1991. The communists have fallen from power and Divko Buntic returns to the small town where he grew up to reclaim his family home. After a 20-year exile in Germany, Divko arrives in his flashy red Mercedes with sexy young girlfriend Azra, lucky black cat Bonny and a pocketful of Deutschmarks. Divko uses his money and connections to forcefully evict estranged wife Lucija, but he tries to reunite with 20-year-old son Martin. When Divko's beloved cat Bonny disappears, the whole town joins in a frantic search to get the cash reward. The daily hunt for the missing cat strains Divko's fragile relationship with Azra and opens up an unexpected but strong attraction between Azra and Martin. Busy fretting over everyday concerns, most of the townsfolk seem to disregard the rumbling political unrest: Croatia has seceded, all Yugoslavs are being forced to take sides, and the Serbs begin bombing Dubrovnik. Although their area is on high alert, many still can't imagine anyone or anything could divide Bosnia and Herzegovina ...


CIRKUS COLUMBIA is Danis Tanovic's most recent film about war and its consequences.  While CIRKUS COLUMBIA is set in the period before the conflict reaches his native Bosnia & Herzegovina, Tanovic's TRIAGE dealt with post-war trauma. The English-language feature starred Colin Farrell as the troubled photojournalist returning home from war-torn Iraq.

Tanovic dealt directly with war in his 2001 debut feature NO MAN'S LAND. Set in the midst of the Bosnian war in 1993, NO MAN'S LAND won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as Best Script prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and European Film Awards. The widely acclaimed film received over 40 international awards,
making it one of the most awarded first feature films in history.

Tanovic was born in 1969 in Zenica (former Yugoslavia), now Bosnia & Herzegovina, and raised in Sarajevo. After a diploma in civil engineering, he studied piano at the Academy of Theatre Arts and film at the Sarajevo Film Academy. When Sarajevo fell under siege, he spent two years on the frontline filming for the army. The material that Tanovic and his colleagues produced on these dangerous missions has been seen in many films and news reports about the Bosnian war. In 1994, Tanovic emigrated to Belgium to continue his film studies at INSAS film school and he began making shorts and documentaries.

In 2005, Tanovic made the French-language feature HELL (L´ENFER), from a script co-written by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. The film starred many of France's finest actors, including Emmanuelle Beart, Karin Viard, Marie Gillain, Guillaume Canet, Jacques Gamblin, Jacques Perrin, Carole Bouquet and Jean Rochefort.


2009    TRIAGE
2005    L'ENFER (HELL)
2001    NO MAN'S LAND


Miki  Manojlović
Mira Furlan
Boris Ler
Jelena Stupljanin
Milan Štrljić
Mario Knezović


Screenplay: Danis Tanović, Ivica Đikić
Based on “Cirkus Columbia by Ivica Đikić
Mirsad Purivatra, Marc Bachet, Čedomir Kolar, Amra Bakšić Čamo
Director of photography:
Walther Vanden Ende
Petar Marković
Production Design:
Dušan Milavec, Sanda Popovac
Dirk Bombey, Samir Fočo, Martin Steyer
Christoph Blaser, Steffen Kahles
Make Up:
Tina Šubic Dodočić
A production of 
2006, A.S.A.P Films
In co-production with Autonomous, Studio Maj, Razor Film, Man's Film Productions

Technical Data

Format: 35mm / 24fps / 1:2,35 / Color / Dolby Digital SRD
Length: 113 min
Original language: Bosnian

Original title: Cirkus Columbia


Click here for the »Cirkus Columbia« artwork


Cirkus Columbia
Cirkus Columbia

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