When Father Was Away on Business
Tito's break-up with Stalin in 1948 marked the beginning of not only confusing, but also very dangerous years for many hard-core Yugoslav communists... (imdb)
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When Father Was Away on Business

1985
Drama
2h 16m
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Avg Percentile 65.91% from 317 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(317)
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Rated 08 Dec 2006
81
69th
Less zany than Kusturica's later films, more slow and somber. Still a good movie, though. A bit slow in the middle, maybe. It could use a little more humor and pizzazz... you can sense Kusturica's playful spirit just starting to surface around the edges.
Rated 05 Jul 2008
85
73rd
Having now seen all of Kusturica's back catalog it's clear to me that Time of the Gypsies is where he truly found his voice. When Father Was Away on Business is a great film, but it's not as dynamic, eclectic or spirited as what he would go on to do. The best compliment I can give Kusturica is that he is truly fantastic when it comes to making movies that make you forget that you're watching a movie -- and that goes for all of his films.
Rated 01 Feb 2007
82
58th
Kusturica's potential as a filmmaker can be already clearly seen in this film. Very good, but if you're not a Kusturica freak like me, skip it and watch his later films instead.
Rated 31 Aug 2022
65
71st
Seems to some extent to be a warm-up for UNDERGROUND, with many similar elements but a different tone. Set in an interesting (if not totally crazy) time in Yugoslavian history, and interesting that it premiered in Yugoslavia in January 1985, Gorbachev becoming General Secretary of the CPSU in March 1985 (by the way, it happened that the day I watched this movie is also the day of the announcement of Gorbachev's death).
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
99th
Sidran's writing is of the highest literary order, Kusturica conveys the difficult subject matter with masterful authenticity, and the acting is all excellent. This is that rarest of films that will make you laugh and cry and think and furious with anger, sometimes all at once. In short, pure, undiluted genius.
Rated 31 Aug 2022
55
57th
aynen tito stalin'den daha despottu kanka. Yugoslavya'nın ne kadar özgür olduğunu bu filmi yapabilmenden anlamak lazım Kusturica. bu neyin nesi şimdi, kime hizmet ediyor? Cannes kazanacak ne vardı da batı bu filme Cannes verdi ?
Rated 04 Jun 2011
40
9th
but its boring .... !
Rated 14 Mar 2010
6
95th
Kusturica brings his special blend of tragicomedy to a smaller scale with his youngest protagonist. It's as immersive and satisfying as always. I didn't want it to end.
Rated 27 Feb 2009
60
46th
very hard to watch, the story is vaguely carried and the subplots are somewhat redundant. there are surely some alegorical subtexts going on here, otherwise there's just no way to explain that palme d'or.
Rated 22 Jun 2010
60
36th
Very slow. Took me several sittings to get through. It`s alright, but I was left unmoved by the whole thing. Except for the scene where the husband and wife are trying to have sex after reuniting. That scene is pretty amazing.
Rated 02 Nov 2022
77
42nd
Well-written but doesn’t feel like it really brought anything new to this genre of like “European and/or Slavic movies about living under oppression”. The touches of humour were the highlight for me, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing where Kusturica takes that with his later work.
Rated 11 Apr 2024
70
45th
Rated 31 May 2009
44
49th
I spent all my money on Donkey Kong underpants, the end
Rated 12 Feb 2007
57
44th
Not the best movie....Maybe it is good to show the story about political happening in that time but other is so mediocre and too raw in bizarre social way make movie in Yugoslavia .....
Rated 04 Dec 2014
7
92nd
there's a scene here where the couple are trying to fuck after being reunited, and their son rings his sleepwalking bell, a massive cheeky grin on his face. wonderful.
Rated 21 Feb 2021
85
78th
https://letterboxd.com/ladyspiggott/film/when-father-was-away-on-business/
Rated 10 Dec 2007
85
73rd
I still get creeps from this movie becouse I watched it as a little boy. Don't make my mistake with your kids. It's meant to be watched way later.

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