The Weight Of Chains

The hidden story of what happened when the Eastern Bloc went west

The Weight Of Chains More than a decade after the turbulent disintegration of the Yugoslavian Republic, its former citizens are beginning to question not only the reasons behind the bloody conflicts of the 1990s, but also the true motives behind US and NATO intervention during the civil wars.
'Who in their right mind would actually want to be a colony?' asks director Boris Malagurski, who blames a Western expansionist impulse for the brutal reduction of Former Yugoslavia - a 'success story of Market Socialism' according to economist Michel Chossudovsky - to a series of indebted and divided states.

Seeing an opportunity in the death of Yugoslavian political hero Josip Tito in 1980, the US embarked upon a sustained program of 'predatory capitalism' in the region. By first bankrupting the country, and then inciting its composite republics to declare independence in exchange for wads of US cash, the fervent nationalism and ethnic cleansing that ensued were inevitable.

However, in the years leading up to the 1990, such inter-ethnic hatred was almost unheard of. In previously unseen footage, Serbian and Muslim neighbours who lived alongside each other harmoniously for years are forced to part ways as new US-implemented divisions of Bosnia take effect. Indeed, the sustained dismantling of Yugoslavian society in conjunction with the destruction of its infrastructure ensured that, when peace was finally declared in 1999, American and NATO forces were able to implement economic and ideological colonialism under the guise of valiant human rights intervention.

And now, as Kosovo is still denied international recognition of statehood, and as Croatia is considering selling off its islands in a desperate bid to pay back ever-increasing debts to the US, citizens of the former Yugoslavia are becoming increasingly wary of the true cultural and economic cost of European integration.


The Producers

Emmanuel Jal

BORIS MALAGURSKI (Director, Writer, Producer, Editor) was born in Subotica, Yugoslavia in the late 1980s. In 2005, Boris immigrated to Canada and immediately gained professional recognition for his work. His film "The Canada Project" (2005) won Best Film at the First Take International Student Film Festival in Toronto, and was shown on Serbian National Television several times. His subsequent productions were showcased on several other film festivals worldwide, including the International Film Festival in Palic, Serbia, while he was
still in highschool. Afterwards he became a film student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Making The Film

'I'm aware that there are many who will outright reject to watch the film, as I'm a Serbian Canadian and any argument that can not be perceived as an attack on Serbs or presenting the Yugoslav tragedy in a black and white manner is automatically labelled as Serbian propaganda, but to them I say that if what TV told you was always true, we'd be praising George W. Bush for finding those WMDs in Iraq. My message is also that the real heroes of the Yugoslav wars are not corrupt politicians, army generals or war profiteers, but rather normal people who acted as human beings in inhuman times. Some of these positive stories - people going above and beyond to keep the peace or protecting their neighbours regardless of their ethnicity - are presented in the film to illustrate why there are no such things as "evil nations". If you have any interest in the Yugoslav drama, do watch the film. Even if you think you know why it happened.' - Boris Malagurski

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