Why Serbian Director Emir Kusturica Is Shooting His Next Film in China

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Emir Kusturica

'Just One More Time' will be loosely based on works by classical Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Two-time Cannes Palme d'Or-winning Serbian director Emir Kusturica will film his next movie, Just One More Time, based on works by 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in China in 2019.

"China is the best stage on which we could play the idea of breaching morality and finding ourselves in incredible and unbearable positions, which crush all moral links," the Serbian filmmaker told The Hollywood Reporter.

Set in contemporary China, it is based on a true story, as well as on motives from two novels by Dostoyevsky, The Idiot and Crime and Punishment.

The film's main conflict, according to Kusturica, will be focused on a man who borrows money from some "horrible person" and, unable to repay the debt, ends up with the proposition to "rent out" his 16-year old daughter to that man as repayment of the debt.

"At the end of the year, I will start preproduction, and next year, I'll start shooting," Kusturica said, adding that he expects the film to be completed in 2020.

Last year, Kusturica signed a contract to do the Chinese film with Hong Kong-based Dirty Monkey Films Group.

Meanwhile, Kusturica's other previously announced project, If Not Now, When?, based on Primo Levi's book about Jewish partisans in WWII, is currently on hold as he is thinking about tying the WWII material to contemporary issues, such as immigration.

Kusturica won the Palme d'Or for When Father Was Away on Business in 1985 and Underground in 1995. His most recent feature, On the Milky Road, starring Monica Bellucci and the director himself, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2016.