Yugoslav war crime leader Milošević revived for new Serbian musical in Kosovo

Yugoslav war crime leader Milošević revived for new Serbian musical in Kosovo
The Serbian National Theatre in Belgrade. Image: Photoshooterka under a CC licence

11 January 2018

A Serbian theatre group based in Kosovo are set to perform a new musical based on the life of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević.

The Slobodan Show will portray the rise of the Milošević family and Slobodan Milošević‘s rule of Serbia during the 1990s conflicts in the Balkans, before shifting to focus on the former leader’s trial for war crimes at The Hague.

While details about the performance are sparse, it looks set to portray a human side to a deeply-divisive figure who many hold responsible for genocide.

The show’s director, Nenad Todorovic, said that Milošević had committed “grave crimes,” but claimed he was ultimately a “tragic protagonist.”

“I personally consider Milošević as a shrewd politician who loved being in power and got caught in historical circumstances that he helped accelerate, but which would have happened without him,” Todorovic told the Balkan Insight news site.

The show is currently being rehearsed at the Serbian National Theatre in Belgrade, but is scheduled to open at a theatre in Gracanica — the largest town in an ethnic Serbian enclave in central Kosovo — in March. All the actors are members of a Serb-run theatre in Gracanica, according to news agency AFP.

During the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo, pro-independence Albanians fought Serbian forces under Milošević‘s control, which were pushed out of the breakaway territory after a Western bombing campaign. Belgrade does not recognize the now-independent Kosovan state.

Milošević, who was overthrown by an uprising in 2000, died in his cell before his war crimes trial in the Netherlands finished, suffering a heart attack at the age of 64. His wife sought refuge in Russia after 2003 when she faced corruption charges in Serbia.