I never wanted an independent Bosnia. I wanted Yugoslavia. That is my country.— Emir Kusturica
The most terrific Emir Kusturica quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernize, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things.
I am a living illustration of Bosnian mixing and converting.
My grandparents lived in eastern Herzegovina. Very poor. The Turks came and brought Islam. There were three brothers in the family. One was Orthodox Christian. The other two took Islam to survive.
Yugoslavia was a kind of superpower. Great movies. Beautiful novels. Great rock-and-roll. We became a superpower in basketball. The problem is that people needed to identify more strongly with it after Tito and his awful, tricky way of leading the country.
Making movies is a dangerous job. Because you are always the one who stands at the center of the universe when making movies.
You know, in each segment of ex-Yugoslavia, multi-ethnic life is lost, except I think we somehow still have this in Serbia.
What you have now is a Hollywood that is pure poison.
Hollywood was a central place in the history of art in the 20th century: it was human idealism preserved. And then, like any great place, it collapsed, and it collapsed into the most awful machinery in the world.
Every time I'm shooting a movie I want to kill myself.
Because I don't see the light in the end of the tunnel.
I will not cut my film because, because, because, because of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The most difficult part of making movies is to keep making them.
Maybe, you could make the biggest hit in the world, but then the big problem is what to do next and how to maintain devoted to a certain instinct that I have about films.
I am very impulsive and very stupid sometimes, but I am very clean.
What would happen if an angel appeared before the American president and told him there was no more need for war? Everything would collapse.
When I was a student looking at Leonardo DaVinci and all those guys - Italian, Dutch, or whatever - it's incredible how each piece of the painting fits to the main theme that they want to express.
I started moving towards Serbia when I felt my country, Yugoslavia, was being taken away from me. My feeling of nationality was not as strong as those around me who were attaching themselves to these absurd new entities.
If the film is not emotional, then it operates on a superficial level.
I think the city is the strongest social memory organ of humanity.
I'm just a troublemaker.
My father was an atheist and he always described himself as a Serb.
OK, maybe we were Muslim for 250 years, but we were orthodox before that and deep down we were always Serbs, religion cannot change that. We only became Muslims to survive the Turks.
I've reached the 50th year of my life, and now every question related with life also includes thinking about death. When I leave, I want to leave to my offspring a clear idea about identity.
I was a big fighter when I was younger. In bars I was ready to explode and fight.
Most people only remember Maradona for the bad parts now.
But he was a genius, someone who lifted us and himself up to the level of the gods.
At a certain moment, Yugoslavia stopped being rational, and then you end up going to war.
When you make movies the way I do, you invest everything you have.
And you do it like a crazy maniac.
I know it is crazy, but I want to create a place where people can come in an organised way to think differently, to think their own thoughts.
If you say morality is just what you like, you lose the metaphysical level of what in the history of philosophy is called 'categorical imperative.'
I've been around some very famous people, but no one has the effect Maradona has; people tremble in his presence.
I am a man with a lot of passion.
I'm not anti-American. I was raised to love both sides.
Just because I believe in the identity and integrity of my country doesn't make a xenophobe or a nationalist.
My purpose is to make a movie to make you warm.
To give you some heat. Now, this rational world has become a place where only what is cool is good. Do you cut the movie on the basis of the beat of modernity or the basis of the beat of your own heart?
I am not trying to say I'm a genius, but 'Underground' was the strongest attack there has been on Milosevic. It is about a man who locks his friends in a cellar for 40 years and convinces them that the war is still going on. He uses them, but they still think he is a great guy. And this was shown in every cinema in Serbia.
I'm fed up with democracy. In a democracy, people vote for the mayors. I wanted to build a city where I will choose the citizens.
I am somebody who respects Putin highly, but I'm not somebody who is against America.
Every movie that I do, if you analyze the stories, you can notice that in each story, that within the movie after the first 15 minutes, it could fall apart. Or every 10 minutes it has the chance that you lose the thread. On the other hand, if you succeed in putting them together, then the movie looks spontaneous and more like cinema.
The advantage of the gypsy language, even though I don't understand it that much, the language is perfect melody. So if you propose the movie the way I do, then the language is just one part of the melody. Orchestrating all inside, and the language is following the meaning of what they say, and it's never the same as written.
My father was always saying we were Serbs, but I didn't pay much attention.
That is a Medieval way of drawing history, in which they do not respect the law and want the rest of the world to respect the law. That's not possible.
I am finished with cities. I spent four years in New York, ten in Paris, and I was in Belgrade for a while. To me now they are just airports.
My relationship with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is very clear: respect.
We met a couple of times; once I received a medal from him. I respect hugely how he brought Russia back from its knees.
I will always fight for peace. But, unfortunately, it is war that drives us forward. It is war that makes the major turns. It makes Wall Street function; it makes all the bastards in the Balkans function.
I put my ideas into practice. That may be the reason people hate me.