Yugoslavia, dying and falling

I’ve finally gotten around to watching all the episodes of The Death of Yugoslavia. Seeing as how there were only six and it aired 14 years ago, one would have thought I’d have gotten to it in better time, but hey, I have a backlog. Part of what made me want to watch it was reading Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation, which apparently outside the US had the same title as the BBC series. Why the US must rename books is beyond me, but the fact is that these two items form an incredible medium through which the war in Yugoslavia can be told and understood.

But, while the series is good, the book is a great deal better in that it reads a lot like the War of Roses. There are a lot of characters in the narrative, but they are convincing people to say the least. Unfortunately it’s sad that 250,000 people had to die in order to make the story come to life. The book really talks about each person in greater detail, but it is true that in the series they have actual interviews with the actual heads of state during the war. They decided to avoid the use of talking heads “analyzing” the war and instead use the real participants which definitely brings the situation to life. Still, the book is more convincing and if you have time to read all 300 pages, do it.

I do agree with the note on the Wikipedia article which mentions that some of the BCS was translated in a misleading manner in the series. Of course, you need to actually speak the language to pick up on this, which is unfortunate. Still though, they don’t take sides and give a quite honest account which is amazing given that the British largely sided with the Serbs through the war.