Milosevic on Trial

Movies

**** (Four stars)
At the beginning of 2002, Slobodan Milosevic went on trial at the Hague, charged with crimes against humanity, genocide and other pleasantries of the dictatorial life. Reassuring himself with the same faulty logic that allowed him to sleep at night, the former Serbian leader refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court and therefore insisted fervently on defending himself. Danish director Michael Christoffersen closely followed the four-year trial—it concluded prematurely when Milosevic died from an attack of the organ where the heart traditionally lies—and interviewed many of its key participants. His dryly engaging Milosevic on Trial culls from 2,000 hours of courtroom footage, interweaving discussions with such prominent figures as prosecutor Geoffrey Nice and Milosevic’s adviser, Dragoslav Ogjnanovic. Nice, a flamboyantly dressed and unreasonably well-spoken British man, almost deserves his own movie, so as to have a fuller platform for addressing far-reaching issues with his off-the-cough lucidity. “Is there a piece of paper that says go and commit this crime?” he posits. “Of course not. People aren’t like that. Even ordinary criminals aren’t like that.”—Jay Ruttenberg, Music writer

[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.] 

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