“…A priceless history lesson… succeeds most intriguingly as a how-to manual for revolution via civil disobedience. Grade A."

– Entertainment Weekly



Bringing Down A Dictator (52 min.) documents the spectacular defeat of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, not by force of arms but by an ingenious nonviolent strategy of honest elections and massive civil disobedience.

Milosevic was strengthened by patriotic fervor when NATO bombed Yugoslavia in early 1999, but a few months later, a student movement named Otpor! (“Resistance”) launched a surprising offensive. Their weapons were rock concerts and ridicule, the internet and email, spray-painted slogans, and a willingness to be arrested. Otpor students became the shock troops in an army of human rights, pro-democracy, anti-war, and women’s groups united with opposition political parties under the slogan, "He’s Finished!"

When Milosevic refused to accept defeat at the polls, the opposition called a general strike. As normal life ground to a halt, Serbs by the hundreds of thousands poured into the capital on October 5 to seize the Federal Parliament in a dramatic triumph for democracy.

Originally aired on PBS in 2002