Yellow Wasps: Anatomy of a War Crime

Directed by Ilan Ziv

70 minutes / Color
Release: 1996
Copyright: 1995

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

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A Film by Ilan Ziv


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