Other Soviet Bloc countries have also had an uneasy time creating new work in an atmosphere of political turmoil, but the Yugoslavian filmmaker Emir Kusturica created a sensation with Otac na sluzbenom putu (When Father Was Away on Business, 1985), in which a man is arrested for a chance political remark and thrown into prison; his family, and in particular his son, Malik, waits outside for his release. Dom za vesanje (Time of the Gypsies, 1988) is the story of a young Gypsy, Perhan, who is seduced into a life of crime, while the sprawling epic Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground, 1995) is a surreal war film centered in Belgrade, in which the war is artificially prolonged by ambitious black marketeers amid a series of bizarre incidents. Crna macka, beli macor (Black Cat, White Cat, 1998) is a much lighter work, a romantic comedy of chaotic family life.
In Hungary, István Szabó’s Mephisto (1981), Oberst Redl (Colonel Redl, 1985), and Hanussen (1988) are potent political
Separated shortly after birth, the two take decidedly different career paths-one becomes a violent political activist, the other a playgirl. Their life journey is linked to the introduction of electricity, which is seen as offering a new world of industrial promise at the expense of a breakdown in the nineteenth century’s social fabric. Progress, in short, comes with a price tag.