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Willow

'FRONTLINE: The Trial of Ratko Mladić'
(DVD / NR / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: 'The Trial of Ratko Mladić' provides haunting insights into a war criminal's motives, and the genocide he commanded his troops to carry out - as well as an intimate look at the victims left behind, who remain haunted by what their families endured.

It tells an epic story of justice, accountability and a country trying to escape its bloody past.

DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, although this captivating, haunting new two hour documentary does go to great lengths to fill even the most casual viewer in from the off, Ratko Mladić is a Bosnian Serb convicted war criminal and former warlord who led the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) as a general during the Yugoslav Wars.

He was later found guilty of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

On May 31st 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the ICTY.

His trial formally began in The Hague on 16 May 2012 and was concluded on November 22nd 2017 finding him guilty and sentencing him to life in prison.

A long-time member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Mladić (who also went by the nickname "The Butcher of Bosnia") began his career in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) in 1965.

As we watch along we learn that soon came to prominence in the Yugoslav Wars, initially as a high-ranking officer of the Yugoslav People's Army and subsequently as the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska in the Bosnian War of 1992–95. The Serbian and United States' governments offered €5 million for information leading to Mladić's capture and arrest. Mladić nevertheless managed to remain at large for nearly sixteen years, initially sheltered by Serbian and Bosnian Serb security forces and later by family.

May 26th 2011, he was arrested in Lazarevo, Serbia. His capture was considered to be one of the pre-conditions for Serbia being awarded candidate status for European Union membership.

On November 22nd 2017, he was sentenced to life in prison by the ICTY after being found guilty of 10 charges, one of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four of violations of the laws or customs of war.

He was subsequently cleared of one count of genocide. As the top military officer with command responsibility, Mladić was deemed by the ICTY to be responsible for both the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre.

In 'The Trial of Ratko Mladić,' FRONTLINE goes inside the historic five-year trial, with unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to the prosecution and defense teams, as well as to witnesses from both sides who came to give evidence. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





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