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Safe Haven: The United Nations and the Betrayal of Srebrenica
Directed by Ilan Ziv
Produced by Co-produced by Ilan Ziv and Rory O'Connor
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On July 12, 1995 the U.N. designated Safe Area of Srebrenica fell to the Bosnian Serbs. Eight thousand residents are missing - presumed killed - in perhaps the most atrocious war crime committed since World War II. The Serbian Army Commander Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic have been charged by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. But this documentary investigates the possibility of complicity - knowing or not - by the commanders of the United Nations forces in Bosnia.

In an investigation conducted over several months, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Roy Gutman, Cabell Bruce, and director Ilan Ziv uncovered intelligence missives, secret U.N. documents, and confidential reports which are the bases for serious charges: U.N. officials grossly miscalculated the Serb government's aggressive designs, ignored their own intelligence, and gave up air defense capabilities, perhaps the only deterrent which could have saved Srebrenica. And then, after the fact, they misrepresented the massacre.

SAFE HAVEN details how U.N. Special Envoy Yashushi Akashi and French General Bernard Janvier, head of the U.N. protection force in the former Yugoslavia, agreed not to use force against the Serbs in exchange for French hostages. This "gentlemen's agreement" betrayed the solemn promise of protection made to the people of Srebrenica, and ultimately may have led to the massacres. As a result of this startling report, both men, as well as others involved in the siege of Srebrenica are under investigation by various governing bodies.

"With ethnic cleansing still under way, this account of dithering and bargaining in the face of misery and murder makes for a troubling indictment."—Walter Goodman, New York Times

"Provocative."—James Geary, Time Magazine

"A no-nonsense documentary, SAFE HAVEN paints a devastating picture of bureaucratic bungling... Given the weight of official documents and damning testimony, it's not surprising Janvier refused to rebut the allegations."—Matthew Yeomans, Village Voice

"The picture that emerges is one of official incompetence and international impotence that left thousands of innocent people dead... The notion that the slaughter of Srebrenica could have been avoided is not new, but [SAFE HAVEN] gives that belief powerful new support."—Eric Mink, New York Daily News

Silver Nymph & International Critics' Awards Winner, 1996 Monte Carlo International Television Festival
1996 Oskar Winner, Current Affairs Programming (The Netherlands)

39 minutes / color
Release: 1996
Copyright: 1996
Sale: $348

Subject areas:
Balkans, Conflict Resolution, Eastern Europe, Ethics, Human Rights

Related Links:
The Films of Ilan Ziv

Related Titles:
About Executing Eichmann: When Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death, Holocaust survivors and philosophers—includingHannah Arendt, Hugo Bergmann and Martin Buber—surprisingly opposed his execution.

Milosevic on Trial: Four years of the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, charged with 66 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his role in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Yellow Wasps: Chronicles the Yellow Wasps, a Serbian paramilitary unit operating in Bosnia in 1992.

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