In the year 2000, in a war barely noticed outside Yugoslavia, the indicted war criminal Slobodan Milosevic fought to hold power. He controlled a battle-hardened army, a tough police force, and most of the news media. But he underestimated his opponents, led by a student movement called Otpor! (‘resistance’), who attacked the regime with ridicule, rock music, and a willingness to be arrested. Their courage and audacity inspired others to overcome their fear and join the fight.
Otpor! students were the shock troops in what became an army of human rights and pro-democracy activists who systematically undermined police and army loyalty to Milosevic and forced him to call early elections. When Milosevic refused to accept his defeat at the polls, the people responded with a general strike. As normal life ground to a halt, Serbs by the hundreds of thousands descended on the capital on October 5 to seize the parliament in a dramatic triumph for democracy. Milosevic was arrested and extradited to the Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity in June 2001.
This film was made available by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC)
A 13-page Discussion Guide is available as a free downloadable PDF file.
Designed for use by informal groups as well as in classroom settings, the Discussion Guide contains background information, topics for discussion, activities, research topics, and a list of resources.
Two high school level lesson plans are also available for classes in government, political science, history, law and other social sciences:
Lesson I: The Role Images Play
Lesson II: Symbolism and Otpor’s Use of the Clenched Fist