In Belgrade, during World War Two, Marko hides his friend Blacky from the Nazis in a cellar where a partisan group lives underground, manufacturing weapons. For Marko, this is a lucrative business and a way of keeping Blacky away from the girl they both love, the actress Natalija. For 20 years, Marko tells the people below that the war is still on, manipulates them and feeds them false informations. He becomes a significant political figure in Tito's regime. In 1991, Marko and Blacky are on opposing sides.
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"People think that they are only born once. In fact, they are born several times. I was first born in a place where all kinds of conquering armies have passed throughout the centuries. The land where I first saw the light of day and where I understood that even the birds, when they sing in the morning, are not happy but instead horrified, by this light, is a land of heresy, unbridled love and hatred, set down on those high mountains where wildflowers grow. I was born in a land of hope, laughter and unequalled joy. Is there any other country in the world that can understand the wildflowers that grow in Bosnia better than France ? I'm sure there isn't."