Bringing Down a Dictator
Released only on video, this documentary looks at the grassroots group Otpor -- Serbian for Resistance" -- that arose among Yugoslavian students and the young, and used non-violent resistance to catalyze resistance to, and finally bring down, Serbian-Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic. Through the year 2000, the group gained widespread popularity, until Milosevic gave up power in October, 2000. Although the effect of their actions on Milosevic's downfall can't be overestimated, the film doesn't address widespread dissatisfaction with his regime that arose from his economic policies, although the movie does describe some of NATO's 1999 bombing campaign, and Milosevic's use of violence that helped undercut his support.
Martin Sheen narrates, taking us from the 1999 bombings, through October 2000's march on Belgrade, and we see Serbia, Serbian resistance activities, the 2000 election campaign, and finally, the march on Belgrade after the elections that brought down the dictator. Interspersed are interviews with various Serbian and American activists. Sheen's concluding remarks imply that violent resistance is never worthwhile. The film's technical production is excellent, and the movie can be a great starting point for discussing Serbia's 2000 events with middle-school and older audiences, although any such instruction should include more than just any single documentary or other study.
Martin Sheen narrates
Yugoslavia, Serbia,, Slobadan Milosvec, October 2000 March o
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