Black Cat, White Cat

Director Emir Kusturica
Original title Crna Macka Beli Makor
Working title Acrobatic Music
Release 1998 (France)
Original language Rrom & Serbian
Length 2h10
Music Black cat white cat orchestra
Script Gordan Mihić & Emir Kusturica
Photography Thierry Arbogast, Michel Amathieu
Box office 694.251 (France), 2.695.431 (Europe), 68.633 (USA)


Silver Lion of the Best Director at the Mostra of Venice, 1998

  • Silver Lion of the Best Director at the Mostra of Venice, 1998


Matko is a small time hustler, living by the Danube with his 17 year old son Zare. After a failed business deal he owes money to the much more successful gangster Dadan. Dadan has a sister, Afrodita, that he desperately wants to see get married so they strike a deal: Zare is to marry her. But none of the two care much for an arranged marriage: Zare is in love with Ida, Afrodita is waiting for the man of her dreams.



  • Bajram Severdzan …. Matko Destanov
  • Srđan Todorović …. Dadan Karambolo
  • Branka Katić …. Ida
  • Florijan Ajdini …. Zare Destanov
  • Ljubica Adžović …. Sujka
  • Zabit Memedov …. Zarije Destanov
  • Sabri Sulejman …. Grga Pitic
  • Jasar Destani …. Grga Veliki
  • Stojan Sotirov …. Bulgarian customs officer
  • Predrag Laković …. the priest
  • Miki Manojlović …. the wedding officer



CountryFormataudio languagessubtitles languages buy online Description
Germany DVD Z2 PAL Rrom 5.1, German
AustraliaDVD Z4 PAL Rrom 5.1English, French, Dutch
Belgium DVD Z2 PAL Rrom 5.1, French 5.1 French, DutchAmazon.fr4 films set1)
France DVD Z2 PALRrom 5.1, French 5.1French, DutchAmazon.frmore details
France VHS
Hungary DVD Z2 PAL Rrom 5.1, Magyar 5.1Magyar
Japan DVD Z2 NTSC Rrom 5.1Japanese
Poland DVD Z2 PAL Rrom 5.1Polish, English
United Kingdom DVD Z2 PALRrom
drapeau_serbie.jpg Serbia VHS PAL Rrom
drapeau_slovenie.jpg Slovenia DVD Z2 PAL Rrom 5.1Slovenian
USA VHS NTSC Rrom English


Regarding the music, Emir Kusturica says : ”what we obtain at the end is a kind of mixture between the traditional music and the Cuban “sound”, a world music impossible to identify precisely, in a word : free. Nothing more normal finally, since the music is the synthesis of all the other.” The gypsy soul is present indeed in this music of a disrespectful freedom.

Working title of the film was Acrobatic Music, and if you look closely at the generic, there is no title ! Just the silhouette of a pair of cats…

  • Your parents are watching you from above
  • They can't see anything. It's cloudy

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

The burlesque of the film is partly inspired by the comic strip Alan Ford, of Italian origin, but having had a strong success in Yugoslavia in the Eighties. Alan Ford is a lousy publicity agent who becomes a secret agent ; sort of James Bond parody, his adventures are quite delirious.

See a fan website.

We even see in Dadan's limousine one of his friends who reads an Alan Ford comic book while the other play dices…

There is a restaurant named Black Cat White Cat in St Petersbourg, in Russia. As we can imagine, it is a restaurant specialised in Serbian food. A giant screen behind the bar shows Russian or Yugoslav films, among which of course, Emir Kusturica's film. A local journalist underlines the plates are quite good…

  The Black Cat White Cat (Chyornaya Koshka Bely Kot) 13, Pestelya Ulitsa. Tel: 276 7430.
  For 2 persons, with vin : 1,020 roubles (30 euros). 

In the film Darwin's nightmare by Hubert Sauper, we can see several scenes from the film Black Cat White Cat on a black & white television with the Russians in Tanzania. They stop their conversation and say laughing : ”look : it's our people on TV”.


  • Télérama. ”Emir Kusturica comes back to gypsies, for an optimistic and truculent joke… With married and brass band, odds and ends and herd of geese.
  • Monsieur Cinéma. ”The comic attitude splashes everything, even the music. It is enough to see how Kusturica definitively ridicules techno music and shows his great tenderness for a gypsy musicians formation. A great director is back, his film is an homage to burlesque, life and love… Cheers !
  • Le courrier des Balkans : ”The time of the bear, lions and palms hunting is behind him. Now, he can have fun and shoot films. It possible that this film be the first of a new career (splendid), less turned towards festivals successes and more dedicated to an aesthetic and hedonist manner to make films.




en/black_cat_white_cat.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/01 16:03 by matthieu1