I watched this film again recently and it is still one of the best films I've seen.
The amazing thing is how many really big issues it manages to deal with - rape, war, relationships, mental illness, racism, immigration - all these things are subtly emroidered into the patchwork that makes this film.
It is something of a fantasy, elements of it are quite far-fetched, but it's filmed in such a naturalistic way, almost documentary like, it deceives you into suspending your normal sense of reality.
For me though, the key to a great film is the storytelling, and the great achievement of this film is the way in which it tells the stories of the many different characters in the film. The editing is superb, there are a lot of quick shots - every shot has an impact or meaning that moves the story along. The mix of varied quick shots makes this film visually exciting to watch and gives it a real pace and energy. The editing is used brilliantly to tell the stories.
But at the end of the day the strength of this movie is its humanity. Every character has depth and shades and the result is a very moving and enjoyable film. There are some parts that are quite confronting and disturbing but ultimately it's an optimstic and uplifting film of how the common things that we all share and the goodness in human beings can overcome prejudice and the ravages of war.
There are some lovely moments of humour too, though many are quite black, the parts are all well cast and all the actors are just terrific.
Five stars from me without hesitation.