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The Weight of Chains (2010)

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The Weight of Chains is a Canadian documentary film that takes a critical look at the role that the US, NATO and the EU played in the tragic breakup of a once peaceful and prosperous ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Rade Aleksic ...
James Bissett ...
John Bosnitch ...
Michel Chossudovsky ...
Bosko Cirkovic ...
Vlade Divac ...
Slobodan Drakulic ...
Marko Francikovic ...
Blako Gabric ...
John Hawthorne ...
Branislav Lecic ...
Vesna Levar ...
Barry Lituchy ...
Lewis MacKenzie ...
Boris Malagurski ...
Narrator (voice)


The Weight of Chains is a Canadian documentary film that takes a critical look at the role that the US, NATO and the EU played in the tragic breakup of a once peaceful and prosperous European state - Yugoslavia. The film, bursting with rare stock footage never before seen by Western audiences, is a creative first-hand look at why the West intervened in the Yugoslav conflict, with an impressive roster of interviews with academics, diplomats, media personalities and ordinary citizens of the former Yugoslav republics. This film also presents positive stories from the Yugoslav wars - people helping each other regardless of their ethnic background, stories of bravery and self-sacrifice. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

19 February 2011 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Das Gewicht der Ketten  »

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(RCA Sound System)


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User Reviews listen to someone toss blame
30 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As much as people like to hate the U.S. these day I guess someone could blame us for anything. Look, average people in the former Yugoslavia on all sides are mostly good people and everyone has a point of view. Now for the sad part.

Tito held on to power in communist Yugoslavia for quite some time. Although he reigned in a communist nation he still managed to maintain Yugoslavia's sovereignty from the USSR. He did so by skillfully playing both sides. He aided the Soviet Union in the invasion of Hungary, but then admonished the Soviets in Czechoslovakia. Yes, Yugoslavia was held together under Tito for a long time. Was Yugoslavia prosperous? Yes.

Now let's get to some disagreements. Was Yugoslavia a threat because they were a prosperous communist country ? NO. For one, the U.S., although unsuccessful was actually pretty interested in Yugoslavia BECAUSE they were communists. After WWII the eastern Europeans may not have been happy with the Soviet brand of Communism, but they were pretty happy to have been liberated from the Nazi's. Unless you were polish, then the Nazi's and Communists were not much different. Yugoslavia represented a Communist country that was independent of the USSR, an alternative. The U.S. during Tito's era wanted to use Yugoslavia as sort of a propaganda tool. In fact, much of the reason that Yugoslavia was able to prosper at the time was because the U.S. supplied a lot of aid to keep him from the Soviets, and although he wasn't part of the Soviet's (in fact Stalin wanted him dead) empire, he wasn't completely cutting off communications with them either, so he could reap benefits from them as well. Yugoslavia was kind of a spy center/DMZ type place in Europe which was important during the Cold War.

The U.S. wasn't completely cozy with Tito as he sided with Arabs over the Arab-Israeli conflict, but that just adds to the reason the U.S. wasn't responsible for the war. The U.S. wouldn't prod Yugoslavia into a war and side with Muslims, especially when that is the start to the Al Quaeda age, we just pulled out of Somalia, and the first Gulf war had just ended.

What really happened is the Dictator Tito ( He was a man of his age in history, and not exactly a good guy or bad guy) died. That is when fractures started to occur and a recession hit. Anytime a man with Tito's power dies, there is going to be a power vacuum (see Iraq and Egypt for proof). Tito held the country together with an iron fist, he had to. His death in 1980 was bad timing. The USSR had invaded Afghanistan which became their Vietnam. The U.S. was pouring money into Afghanistan and the death of Tito left them in doubt of who may come out of their, a nationalist/communist like Tito, a Soviet friendly communist, a Muslim nation, or a democracy? So the U.S. was pumping up the economy. The unrest and uncertainty doesn't make for sound investments. Finally we now know the USSR was on it's final legs financially and at the end of the decade they had to call the Cold War quits.

You can throw some of the blame on the U.S. for sure. We did throw some support here and there, but you will find that any country in the world will consider their own interests. You also have to remember that at the time the broken up USSR was selling everything and there was a lot of concerns about nukes floating around which had not only the U.S. and Western Europe afraid, but the Russians as well. The end of the Cold War brought about an economic depression as well because before the end the Cold War had been churning the global economy with a sort of "keeping up with the Jones's" game. The US had a purpose in defeating the Russians and when that stopped a lot of safe guards, aid, contracts etc. came to a halt.

I will agree with the movie about Western Europe. Much of Western Europe now thinks they are a bastion of freedom, equality, etc, etc. The problem is they could really care less about anyone or anything. The U.S. got involved BECAUSE other European countries were willing to ignore a genocide in their back yard. President Clinton (who finally sent troops) lists not sending troops sooner as his biggest failure as a President. He wanted very much to let the Europeans take care of their own backyard for once, and they dropped the ball. Today Europe still does nothing for the rest of the world unless you mention Climate Change, because that benefits them economically.

I think everyone had a bit of a hand in this, but as always, everyone feels better if they can blame the U.S. for everything.

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Textbook propaganda film by serbian nationalists Monkfish2001
Where was the legitimate press? spherical
It is hard to disagree with facts. tm0282
Weight of Chains 2 released Nov 2014 AimC
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