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Yellow Wasps: Anatomy of a War Crime
A Film by Ilan Ziv
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This program chronicles the Yellow Wasps, a Serbian paramilitary unit operating in Bosnia in 1992. They called themselves volunteer patriots defending their people against its many enemies. But to their victims they are criminals, sent to pillage and murder as part of a long-standing plan of naked Serbian aggression. Now refugees, these people "cleansed" from their homes recount chilling tales of torture and massacre by the Yellow Wasps.

Filmed over two years, YELLOW WASPS documents a spurious war crimes trial held in Serbia itself. The trial of the Yellow Wasps provides a unique window into the roots of "ethnic cleansing." The film also examines in detail what high officials, from Serbian President Slobodan Milosovic to American Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger to United Nations special envoys, knew about the atrocities - and what they did with that knowledge.

The trial has since been concluded with the leaders of the Yellow Wasps receiving light sentences, but the questions remain: Can the victims of ethnic cleansing expect to find justice in a post-Cold War world, where morality and "realpolitik" often collide? And what did the world powers mean after the Holocaust when they vowed "Never Again?"

"A monument to the capacity for evil that we humans seem all too willing, even eager, to demonstrate."—New York Daily News


70 minutes / color
Release: 1996
Copyright: 1995
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Balkans, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Human Rights, Serbia

Related Links:
The Films of Ilan Ziv

Related Titles:
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.

Prosecutor: At the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo investigates and prosecutes accused war criminals, worldwide.

Safe Haven: The United Nations and the Betrayal of Srebrenica: Investigates the possibility of complicity - knowing or not - by the commanders of the United Nations forces in Bosnia in the disaster that befell Srebrenica.

Yugoslavia: Origins of a War: Provides a detailed background to the ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, using only archive and unpublished material.

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