The bridge on the Drina

The bridge on the Drina

Original titleNa Drini cuprija
Author Ivo Andrić
Publisher University Of Chicago Press
Language English (translated from Serbo-Croatian by Lovett F. Edwards)
Release 1945

In Višegrad, a bridge connects the two banks of the Drina - but also Serbia and Bosnia, East and West - and concentrates since the XVIth century the life of the inhabitants : Christians, Jews, Muslims of Turkey or “islmaized”. There, people talk, fight, play cards, listen to the speeches of the successive Masters of the country, Ottomans then Austro-Hungarian. This four centuries chronicle was written by Yugoslav novelist Ivo Andrić, Nobel Prize of literature in 1961 ; it mixes legend with history, fun with horror, and gives life back to thousand and one characters.

Adaptation projects

Among the other projects, Emir Kusturica has thought of making an adaptation of this novel. It should have been - according to his interviews at that time - the biggest yugoslav film of all times. But today, the project seems to be definitively given up.
In an interview given to French newspaper Le Monde in 1993, we could read :

  • What about making a new film in Europe ?
    • EK : It's a political question. I want to remain a european cineast, who makes films everywhere. I feel myself like a bridge maker, who creates links between different places. I had this project, A bridge over the Drina, the masterpiece of our literature, written by Ivo Andrić, our Nobel Prize of 1961. If our leaders had read it, there would have been no war.

Later, in another interview given to French newspaper l'Humanité in 2005, we could read :

  • What about the possible adaptation of The bridge on the Drina, by Ivo Andrić, for the cinema ?
    • EK : I'll never do it. It's impossible… Well, I mean, it's difficult, and I don't think it's the moment to make a film with such a structure. It's too big ! It's quite possible that nothing is less sure !

But in February 2009, Emir Kusturica held a press conference in Küstendorf with Serbian minister of Culture Nebojsa Bradic, to announce his intention to realize an adaptation as a “film-opéra” of the monument of Yugoslav literature : “A bridge on the Drina” (Na Drini cuprija), by Literature Nobel Prize Ivo Andrić. We remember that Emir wants to make the adaptation of this classic since a long time. For this project, he wants to use a mix technique with real shootings in Višegrad (Bosnia, a few kilometers from Küstendorf) and live show. But first things first, the libretto and the music have to be written by a whole team, including Emir Kusturica, Nele Karajlic and the No Smoking Orchestra. International coproduction, the projet wishes also the collaboration of Turkey, due to the cultural legacy of Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. Emir Kusturica hopes this project can be achieved in 2011 for the 50th jubilee Ivo Andrić's Nobel Prize attribution. About this project, the minister declares ”this novel encloses our present, past and, I am afraid, future. That is our Old Testament. I know that Ivo Andric opposed ideas of putting his works into other genres due to some bad experiences, but he was not quite exclusive. With good preparation we can overcome potential obstacles

He confirmed this information in March 2009 in an interview.

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This book was translated in many languages :

en/the_bridge_on_the_drina.txt · Last modified: 2009/04/29 11:47 by matthieu1