Bringing Down a Dictator
Written, Produced & Directed by Steve York
Film website: www.aforcemorepowerful.org
Bringing Down A Dictator documents the spectacular defeat of Slobodan Milosevic in October, 2000, not by force of arms, as many had predicted, but by an ingenious nonviolent strategy of honest elections and massive civil disobedience.
Milosevic was strengthened by patriotic fervor when NATO bombed Yugoslavia in early 1999, but a few months later, a student movement named Otpor! (“Resistance” in Serbian) launched a surprising offensive. Audaciously demanding the removal of Milosevic, they recruited where discontent was strongest, in the Serbian heartland.
Their weapons were rock concerts and ridicule, the internet and email, spray-painted slogans and a willingness to be arrested. Otpor students became the shock troops in an army of human rights, pro-democracy, anti-war, women’s groups, and opposition political parties. Their slogan: "He’s Finished!"
Trained in nonviolent action and partially financed by the US and western Europe, they forged a unified political opposition, fought to stop vote fraud, and systematically undermined police and army loyalty. When Milosevic refused to accept defeat at the polls, the opposition called a general strike. As normal life ground to a halt, Serbs by the hundreds of thousands poured into the capital on October 5 to seize the Federal Parliament in a dramatic triumph for democracy. The one-hour documentary is narrated by Martin Sheen.
REVIEWS AND AWARDS:
"...a good short primer...as the narrator, Martin Sheen, says in a compelling concluding segment, Otpor's success suggests that oppressive leaders can best be toppled not by outside military force, but by grassroots movements from within."
--Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
"A priceless history lesson...Dictator succeeds most intriguingly as a how-to manual for revolution via civil disobedience. Grade A."
"...remarkable and inspiring....a fascinating window on a revolution that was given limited coverage by America's 24-hour news services."
--Kevin McDonough, United Feature
"...an inspiring story on courage in the face of unspeakable cruelty."
--The Christian Science Monitor
George Foster Peabody Award
ABCNews VideoSource Award --- The International Documentary Association
Silver Chris Award --- Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Bronze Plaque: Scriptwriting --- Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Silver Plaque --- The Chicago International Television Festival
Gold Remi --- Worldfest Houston International Film Festival
Best Documentary --- Sedona International Film Festival
CINE Golden Eagle
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