Bringing Down a Dictator is a classic documentary featuring how the Serb dictator, Slobodan Milosevic was eventually overthrown not through force of arms but eventually through non violent opposition spearheaded by student groups mainly with the backing of The United Nations and other NGO’s.
It is a powerful film featuring some great filming and focuses on the ruthless brutality of the dictator paired with the intrinsic bravery of the opposition groups who faced considerable obstacles in attempting to get what they wanted. They used rock concerts, general banter and other methods to achieve their ultimate goal although it has to be said that without western backing they would have got nowhere. Still, the film is quite a powerful portrayal of life under Milosevic and how this would begin to change once he was overthrown.
I enjoyed the extensive interviews with the protagonists who are always on the ball to explain what they wanted and how they went about getting it. Occasionally the film does feature crude filming and some scnes are quite comically edited so the overall picture does tend to lack professionalism. Nothwitstanding all this, it is an enjoyable movie and I liked it immensely although I would change the narrative structure slightly as well due to the fact that some of the character plots are a bit fuzzy. All in all it is a good movie and accurately describes the events which occurred during that period.
What are the role of international development assistance programs and NGOs?
International development is important for countries who are suffering from underdevelopment and lack of progress to get back on their feet. After Yugoslavia split up, Serbia obviously had to go through a period of economic woes so the aid it received from the UN and other organizations was crucial to its continued existence. International aid is used extensively in African countries and other areas of backward societies and if it does not fall into the hands of dictators, then it is obviously a useful way to help a country.
Use of IT tools, internet and social networking
The internet was obviously an imporatnt part of the revolt against Milosevic. Through this medium and through social networking most of all, the youths could mobilize their own forces to organize protests and activities which continued to shed light on Milosevic’s corrupt and institutionally incorrect methods. They could also use the internet to avoid police surveillance and could thus operate with a certain level of freedom.
Mobile phones were also obviously important as the whole group could know what was coming next through a simple SMS. This was obviously 2000 so no smartphones existed but the groups of youths made ample use of their mobile phones to create a sense of awareness in Serbian society. They also worked hard during the elections to mobilize voters to turn out in large numbers but they also used the IT technology to follow up the post elecetion aftermatch where Milosevic refused to accept that he had lost. Thus the group created awareness not just in serbia but throughout the world on the plight of the country and this undoubtedly brought in foreign intervention to assist in the situation.