With former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic now in The Hague awaiting trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for his part in the war in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995, I’m reminded of Milosevic on Trial, which I saw at the most recent Hot Docs.
The film, directed by Michael Christoffersen, covered the UN tribunal against former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic for genocide and other war crimes. The trial lasted more than four years, and Christoffersen and his team followed the proceedings with an unwavering eye, letting Milosevic’s atrocious acts speak for themselves. As you’ll recall, Milosevic represented himself during the tribunal, one he rejected throughout as being illegal. During the screening, my jaw hit the floor several times as Milosevic disrespected both the judge and those massacred during the war.
Milosevic died of a heart attack in prison before the trial was over. But the preceding years of testimonies and transparent stalling techniques provided more than enough material for an insightful documentary. I hope Christoffersen and his devoted team, or someone in the doc community with equal perseverance, will follow Karadzic’s trial – sure to be as unsettling and fascinating as Milosevic’s. Even in the current preparatory stage of his trial, Karadzic is pulling similar stunts to Milosevic – just last week he asked the UN tribunal to replace the presiding judge, whom he believes has a “personal” interest in convicting him. Please, someone get rolling.