The Weight of Chains


 Тежина ланаца (2010) on IMDb

Year: 2010

Director: Boris Malagurski

Writer: Boris Malagurski

Director of Photography: Marko Jankovic, Anastasia Trofimova

Post-production: Boris Malagurski, Marko Jankovic

Genre: Documentary

Runtime: 124 min

Language: English, Serbian


The film that takes a critical look at the role that the US, NATO and the EU played in the tragic breakup of Yugoslavia. The film, bursting with rare stock footage never before seen by Western audiences, is a creative first-hand look at why the West intervened in the Yugoslav conflict, with an impressive roster of interviews with academics, diplomats, media personalities and ordinary citizens of the former Yugoslav republics.

For all of you who want to rent or download a movie Weight of Chains, we have made it available via the Vimeo platform.

Festivals & Awards

   2011 | Official Selection | Raindance Film Festival | London, United Kingdom

   2011 | Nomination, Best Documentary | Moving Images Film Festival | Toronto, Canada

   2011 | Official Selection | BELDOCS International Feature Documentary Film Festival | Belgrade, Serbia

   2011 | Official Selection | BELDOCS Eho | Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Kragujevac, Nis, Vrsac & Aleksinac, Serbia

   2011 | Nomination, Best Documentary | International Festival of New Latin American Cinema | Havana, Cuba

   2011 | Nomination, Best Documentary | Ann Arbor Docu Fest | Ann Arbor, United States

   2014 | Official Selection | Balkan New Film Festival | Stockholm, Sweden

Notable TV Premieres

   2011 | The Weight Of Chains | RTV BN | Bosnia & Herzegovina, Worldwide (Satellite)

   2014 | The Weight Of Chains | Russia Today (RT) | Worldwide (Online, Cable, Satellite)

   2014 | The Weight Of Chains | Eurochannel | Worldwide



The former republic of Yugoslavia was at the centre of several of the defining moments and conflicts of the 20th century, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo to the country’s dramatic civil war in the 1990’s. With all that troubled history, as an elderly woman at the outset of Boris Malagurski’s documentary explains, “it’s not easy to say, what Yugoslavia is.”

The Weight of Chains is Malagurski’s attempt to clarify the complexity of the Yugoslavian identity by contextualizing and exposing the reality of the Yugoslav Wars and their aftermath. His sympathies lie with the wronged citizens of each country, born out of the division of the former republic.

Using some terrific archive footage and the testimony of a number of reputable experts, the film traces the fragmentation and separation of Yugoslavia. Malagurski effectively conveys the confusion of the time and, with a biting wit, suggests that nobody is blameless in the escalation of violence. The documentary ultimately appears to be about the “predatory capitalism” that the US and the EU practiced on the Yugoslavian people. Malagurski uses this term and its implications to expose the reality of 21st century colonialism and its cost.

Zachary Boren | VICE Magazine


Who in their right mind would actually want to be a colony? That is the question asked in the opening section of The Weight of Chains, the latest film directed by Boris Malagurski. His film demonstrates how the South Slavs emerged from centuries of colonial rule under the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, and unified to form an independent Yugoslavia. In sharp analytical detail, Malagurski’s film dissects how Western intervention systematically undermined that independence and helped destroy Yugoslavia, plunging the region into war in the process.

This remarkable film reveals how the West subjugated the peoples of the former Yugoslavia and exploited the region through the imposition of free market reforms. In exposing the recent history of the Balkans, the film busts a number of myths. No other film so successfully explains those events while tying them to the wider economic and political trends of these difficult times.

Gregory Elich | Monthly Review Magazine