Winner 2002

Bringing Down a Dictator

York Zimmerman Inc., in association with WETA-TV, Washington, DC

On October 5, 2000, the final dramatic hours of the Serb struggle against Slobodan Milosevic captured headlines and cover stories around the world. But the defeat of the “Butcher of the Balkans” was incorrectly billed as a one-day revolution. What the global media failed to recognize was the year-long anti-Milosevic campaign waged by Serbian resistance in partnership with pro-democracy and human rights groups. Using exclusive footage and conversations with the principal participants,Bringing Down a Dictator, hosted and narrated by Martin Sheen, reveals to the public what news organizations did not. Producer/Writer/Director Steve York makes clear that the spectacular defeat of Milosevic was accomplished not by force of arms, as many had predicted, but by a brilliant nonviolent strategy of honest elections and massive civil disobedience laced with humor and risk. And by exploring how the Serb people’s success was hastened by technical and financial assistance from the U.S. and European Union, the film also presents American audiences with a model for a foreign policy in support of popular democratic forces using strategic nonviolent actions in the quest to remove authoritarian regimes. At York Zimmerman Inc., Miriam A. Zimmerman served as Managing Producer and for WETA Peter Ackerman served as Executive Producer and Jeff Hinmon as Project Director. A Peabody Award goes to Bringing Down a Dictator, a powerfully instructive documentary, now used as a training tool for pro-democracy activists throughout the world.