The Weight of Chains
|The Weight of Chains|
|Directed by||Boris Malagurski|
|Produced by||Boris Malagurski|
|Screenplay by||Boris Malagurski|
|Music by||Novo Sekulović
|Edited by||Boris Malagurski
|Distributed by||Journeyman Pictures (Worldwide)|
|Running time||124 minutes|
The Weight of Chains is a 2010 documentary film directed by Boris Malagurski which analyzes the role that the United States, NATO and the European Union played in the breakup of Yugoslavia. It was released on December 17, 2010. The production company Malagurski Cinema is based in Vancouver, Canada. Since 2012, the film has been distributed by Journeyman Pictures.
The filming of the documentary started in 2009 in Canada, with interviews in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. Filming continued in early 2010 in the United States – Columbus, Dayton, New York City and Washington, and was finalized in the Summer of 2010 in Slovenia – Ljubljana; Croatia – Vukovar, Đakovo, Jasenovac, Zagreb, Gospić, Knin; Bosnia-Herzegovina – Sarajevo, Trebinje; Serbia – Belgrade, Subotica, Kosovska Mitrovica, Trepča, Priština, Orahovac, Prizren and Štrpce. Post-production ended in October 2010.
Archival footage was provided by Radio Television Serbia.
The Weight Of Chains presents a perspective on Western involvement in the division of the ethnic groups within Yugoslavia, and claims that the war was forced from outside, while ordinary people wanted peace. Malagurski says extreme factions on all sides, fuelled by their foreign mentors, outvoiced the moderates and even ten years after the last conflict, the hatred remains and people continue spreading myths about the 1990s.[not in citation given]
The film starts with a brief history of Yugoslavia, explaining the concept of Yugoslavia and how it came to exist. Narrated by Malagurski, the film explains what happened in Yugoslavia during World War II and how Josip Broz Tito's Yugoslavia was formed. The pace slows down as Tito's death is documented, and the author moves on to changes in the Yugoslav economy in the 1980s, with specific mention of Ronald Reagan's National Security Decisions Directive 133 from 1984. This presents U.S. interests in Yugoslavia as promoting the "trend towards a market-oriented Yugoslav economic structure". The role of the National Endowment for Democracy in Yugoslavia is then analyzed, and connected to the formation of G17 Plus. Privatization through liquidation is explained, and presented as a major cause for the rise of ethnic tensions in the late 80s and early 90s, further fueled by Foreign Operations Appropriations Act 101-513, enacted during the George H. W. Bush era.
Slobodan Milošević, Franjo Tuđman and Alija Izetbegović then receive criticism, all of them described as being power-hungry and without much concern for their people. Domestic war-mongers are mentioned also. The regional media are presented as having a major influence on mobilizing public opinion in favor of a conflict. The film then alleges that the West – openly diplomatically and covertly militarily – supported separatist groups and encouraged conflict so that NATO could jump in as peacekeepers for their own interests. The film includes new footage of a village in Bosnia where Serbs and Bosniaks lived together up to the end of the Bosnian war, but were then separated – with Serbs saying goodbye to their Muslim neighbours, who decided to collectively leave to their own entity, in tears.
The topic of Kosovo is covered most out of all the issues, and the history of the region is explained to show why the Kosovo war broke out. The film talks about the medieval Battle of Kosovo, inclusion of Kosovo into the Kingdom of Serbia in 1912, the persecution of Kosovo Serbs during World War II and Tito's Yugoslavia, as well as alleged plans by Albanian nationalists to create an ethnically pure Greater Albania. The film then discusses what interests the Western powers had in Kosovo and why they decided to intervene in a secessionist war in 1999. Questions such as why a cigarette factory was bombed by NATO (and later bought by Philip Morris) are tackled, with the author concluding that the purpose of the war was to economically colonize the country.
This film also presents positive stories from the war – people helping each other regardless of their ethnic background, stories of bravery and self-sacrifice. For this purpose, the widow of Josip Reihl-Kir (former police chief of Osijek, Croatia) Jadranka Reihl-Kir was interviewed concerning her husband's attempts to resolve ethnic issues back in 1991 in a peaceful manner. The widow of Milan Levar, Vesna Levar, was also interviewed and spoke of her husband's fight to expose policies of ethnic cleansing in his hometown of Gospić, Croatia, where Croat forces killed dozens of Serb civilians. Another story covered is that of a young Serbian man by the name of Srđan Aleksić, whose father tells how his son saved a Muslim man from an attack by soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska.
After discussing the wars of the 1990s, the film deals with what happened afterwards and how policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank affected the newly created former Yugoslav states. The author presents his theory that Eastern European states were never meant to be colleagues and equals with the European Union and the West, but rather markets for Western industrial goods and sources of cheap labor. The way in which the debt of the former Yugoslav countries has changed from 1990 to 2010 is graphically depicted, with revelations of how much tax money each citizen of the former Yugoslavia would have to pay in order for their countries to be debt free.
- Michel Chossudovsky — Canadian economist and professor of economics at the University of Ottawa.
- Lewis MacKenzie — UE, CM, CMM, MSC, O.Ont, CD, retired Canadian general, author and media commentator, most famous for establishing and commanding Sector Sarajevo as part of UNPROFOR in Yugoslavia in 1992.
- Vlade Divac — Retired Yugoslav as well as United States' NBA professional basketball player, humanitarian worker
- John Perkins – Author, best known for his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
- Michael Parenti — Award winning American political scientist, historian, and cultural critic.
- Scott Taylor – Canadian journalist who specializes in military and war reporting.
- Jože Mencinger — Slovenian lawyer, economist, and politician who served as Minister of Economy of the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovenian vice president of government for economic coordination from 1990 to 1991.
- Zvonimir Trajkovic — Described on the film's website as:- Serbian political advisor to Slobodan Milošević (1990 – '93) and Radovan Karadžić ('94 – '97).
- James Bissett — Former Canadian diplomat who served as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria. Defence witness for Slobodan Milošević.
- Veran Matić — chief executive officer of B92.
- John Bosnitch — Canadian journalist of Serbian descent, consultant and political activist.
- Branislav Lečić — Former Serbian minister of culture in the government of the late Zoran Đinđić.
- Bosko Cirkovic 'Škabo' — Rapper, beatmaker and producer from Belgrade, Serbia, who is also the founder of Beogradski Sindikat.
- Srđa Trifković — Serbian-American writer, foreign affairs editor for the paleoconservative magazine Chronicles 1998–2009, and former unofficial spokesperson for the Republika Srpska government in 1995. Defence witness for a number of convicted Serbian war criminals.
- Slobodan Samardžić — Serbian academic and politician, and the former minister for Kosovo in the Government of Serbia.
- Rade Aleksić — Father of Srđan Aleksić, who lost his life while defending an ethnic Bosniak, his friend, from being attacked by a group of soldiers of the VRS.
- Visar Ymeri — Kosovo activist and politician.
- Blasko Gabric — Founder and 'President' of 'Fourth Yugoslavia', park located in Subotica, Serbia 
Festival screenings and selections
- BELDOCS International Documentary Film Festival 2011, Belgrade, Serbia
- Raindance Film Festival 2011, London, England
- Moving Image Film Festival 2011, Toronto, Canada
- International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana, Cuba
- Ann Arbor Docu Fest 2012, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
The film was due to be shown in the 2011 programme of Serbian film director Emir Kusturica at the Küstendorf Film and Music Festival. However two days before the festival began, the film was removed from the schedule without explanation.
Freelance journalist Damjan Pavlica criticized the film in an article portaled through the online anti-establishment magazine E-novine. Among other criticisms, Pavlica wrote that - despite being labeled as a documentary - The Weight of Chains includes clips from non-documentary movies but the narrator does not point these out. Some critics have described the movie as "shallow propaganda" and historical revisionism, trying to whitewash Serbian guilt for wars after the break-up of Yugoslavia, to minimize, deflect and distort the well-established role of Serbian leaders in the former Yugoslavia's wars.
The Weight of Chains 2
- Culture: "Good people in evil times" Politika Newspaper | August 28, 2010
- Journeyman Pictures : Documentaries Serbia – The Weight of Chains – 124 min 30 sec
- "Weight of Chains – Sponsors". Malagurski Cinema. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.
- Okovi raspada bivše Jugoslavije Vesti, April 1, 2011
- About the film The Weight of Chains web-site
- Interview with Boris Malagurski on his new film Novine Toronto | March 26, 2010
- New documentary by the Serbian Michael Moore Press
- "The Interviewees". Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Milošević calls ex-Canadian Ambassador". IWPR.
- "Popović et al. CIS". ICTY.
- "Popovic et al.-"Srebrenica"". SENSE Tribunal.
- "Stakic-"Prijedor"". SENSE Tribunal.
- "Like the old Yugoslavia it recreates, theme park could go under". Boston Globe.
- "In ex-Yugoslavia, Tito-era nostalgia". NY Times.
- Težina lanaca: Kritika uloge NATO, EU i SAD i raspadu SFRJ BELDOCS 2011
- Festival of documentary film at Novi Sad Cultural Centre 021.rs
- Best films of "Beldocs" Dnevnik newspaper[dead link]
- The Weight of Chains in Novi Sad Radio Television Vojvodina
- "BELDOCS" on a tour throughout Serbia B92.net
-  Raindance Film Festival 2011
- Radio Television Serbia | The Weight of Chains in London[dead link]
-  Raindance Balkan Cinema Strand 2011
-  MIFF Schedule, End of World Showcase
- "El peso de las cadenas" Festival Internacional Del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano
- Ann Arbor Docu Fest: The Weight of Chains at Cafe Ambrosia accessed Aug 23, 2014
- "Okovi raspada bivše Jugoslavije" (in Serbian; "Shackles of the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia", by Gorana Gligorević, Vesti Online, 1 April 2011, accessed May 25, 2011
- Pavlica, Damjan. Težina ideoloških lanaca. E-novine, June 23, 2012.
- Nema povlačenja, nema predaje Politika
- Video on YouTube
- Weight of Chains at the Internet Movie Database
- The Weight of Chains on YouTube
- The Weight of Chains 2 Official Trailer on YouTube