Widely regarded as one of the most innovative filmmakers of his generation, Emir Kusturica twice won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or before the age of 40, and, film for film, it is difficult to think of a more consistently lauded artist than this Bosnian-born director. Possessing the persona of a rock star (he once played bass in the agit-rock band No Smoking and still makes guest appearances with them), he is the antithesis of the Hollywood director, viewing the world as a naif or a dreamer and only helming projects that move him strongly. Though the commerce of movies remains foreign to Kusturica, the opportunity to make a visual statement still drives his work. No fan of the close-up, he always tries to connect one person with what is going on in the midground and background (much like John Frankenheimer), and he has successfully worked with non-actors in the tradition of Italian neo-realism (e.g., Roberto Rossellini). As a result of his unpopular stand regarding the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, however, he finds himself scorned in his own land, literally a director without a country.