At the Belgrade army hospital, casualties of Bosnian civil war are treated. In the hospital they remember their youth and the war. Two young boys, Halil, a Muslim, and Milan, a Serb, have ... See full summary »
In 1964, to explore the adage "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man," World in Action filmed seven-year-olds. Every seven years, Michael Apted visits them. At 49, ... See full summary »
A group of seven-year-old British children from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects. Director Michael Apted plans to reinterview them at seven-year ... See full summary »
As I am very interested in the wars in the former Yugoslavia I watched this quite famous series and expected an unbiased series which would deliver a lot of facts. However in this regard the series is very disappointing as it does not deliver facts but instead speculations and assumptions are shown as undeniable facts.
The series consists mainly of interviews with the main leaders of the warring factions and the UN representatives. This is the best part about this series as it shows us the different opinions on the events that happened. In between this interviews a narrator tells the viewer what happened and here this series fails on many occasions as it quite often presents assumptions as facts or tells us about the intentions behind certain events but completely lacks evidence for this. The most obvious assumption is the alleged deal between Milosevic and Tudjman about the division of Bosnia. The series tells us that this deal was the main reason for the war in Bosnia. What it does not tell us is that there is no evidence for such a deal. Mesic and Karadzic are interviewed about this deal however they both were not present during the Milosevic/Tudjman meeting. Moreover the director of this series, probably to support his thesis shows us the meeting right before the war in Bosnia, however the meeting took place before the war in Croatia. Also Tudjman's comment about Bosnia was intensified by the not very exact translation. When he said that "another" option was the division of Bosnia, it was translated by the narrator as "the only option" was the division. I realized the same thing several times while watching this series, that certain statements were intensified by a slightly inaccurate translation (I watched the German version, maybe the others are more accurate).
On other occasions the series is very one sided and superficial, for instance when it tells that the Serbs were afraid of Croatia because the Croat Coat of arms (the red and white checkerboard) was used during WWII. The series does not loose a single word on the fact that the checkerboard was used for hundreds of years, even in Yugoslavia, which renders the narrator's thesis that the checkerboard was the equivalent to the swastika completely wrong (Actually the U was the equivalent to the swastika).
In the end this series is interesting because of the interviews and some interesting footage, which is the reason why i gave it 3 out of 10. I do not agree with the previous reviewer that the documentary is flawed because of this. There is no ultimate truth about Yugoslavia, so by interviewing people from each side you get as close as possible. Another way would be to deliver facts like documents or audio/video footage to support the comments by the narrator on certain events and here this series fails almost completely.
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