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Bringing Down a Dictator
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"A priceless history lesson...Dictator succeeds most intriguingly as a how-to manual for revolution via civil disobedience. Grade A." --Entertainment Weekly
"...remarkable and inspiring....a fascinating window on a revolution that was given limited coverage by America's 24-hour news services." --Kevin McDonough, United Feature
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As the soothing voice of Martin Sheen led me into Serbia, I began, in true American fashion, to think about myself. What had my generation cared about even a third as much as Otpor cared about calling for political revolution? I was aware of the nonviolent nature of the protests but I expected to see a mass of wealthy Serbs fighting for freedom. What I saw was far more compelling: young people using their passion to rouse their countrymen to demand what many wish they had -- democracy.
The most interesting thing was how Otpor approached their challenges, peacefully but with strategies similar to the military, despite the belief that Slobo would only respond to force. Otpor leaders even called Serbian police officers "victims" and urged their followers not to rouse conflict with them. They used humor and intellect to prove that government must bend to the will of the people, and that people are the only means necessary. Every moment was a true testament to the fact that nothing can scorch the tenacity of the human spirit.
As the film came to a close I found myself with clenched fists, relishing in the rhetorical brilliance of phrases such as "I'm a drug addict, I am addicted to freedom and I need more and more of it every day." These words, these ideas of demanding change with just the fruit of your lips and the love for country in your heart, had my head spinning. Clearly, it inspired the people of Egypt too.
While set in a different region, this film can be an informative comparative case when studying recent nonviolent uprisings in the Middle East.
I remember sponsoring a campus-wide screening of Bringing Down a Dictator, and students were so engaged that in the packed room those on the back row sat on the backs of their chairs for the entire film to ensure that they didn't miss anything. In classes, the film never fails to provoke excellent discussion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I teach a University for Seniors course on nonviolence and this film has been well received and a great vehicle for discussion. Read morePublished on May 12, 2014 by Bruce Mork
Kids did what the US could not! Well done documentary and explains many things going on today in the US.Published on February 1, 2013 by Mark