The 11 Best Documentaries About The Yugoslavia War

Jul 17, 2023 | Best Of, Military/War

For nearly 70 years, Yugoslavia served as a socialist state and federation with its six nations of Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Montenegro. But following the death of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito in the early 1990s it dissolved into chaos. To understand how this happened it is worth exploring some of the documentaries which have been made about this turbulent period. Here are some key films that provide insight into what led to Yugoslavia’s breakup and why these tensions continue to exist today.


Sarajevo Roses (2017)

Witness the unimaginable in this powerful documentary that takes you to the heart of Sarajevo, a city once alive with the spirit of the 1984 Winter Olympics. Experience the shocking reality as society falls apart, leaving citizens to fight for survival amidst chaos and destruction. Join us on a journey through time as we unveil the gripping story of The Cellist of Sarajevo, Vedran Smailovic, and his courageous fight to bring hope and unity to a city torn apart by war.





Scream For Me Sarajevo (2018)

In a war-torn city, amidst the sounds of bombs and gunfire, something incredible happened. Against all odds, a rock concert was performed by Bruce Dickinson and his band Skunkworks in 1994, giving the people of Sarajevo a moment of respite from the destruction surrounding them.






After the War: Life post-Yugoslavia (2008)

After the War: Life Post-Yugoslavia is a collection of 9 powerful films, each offering a unique perspective on the aftermath of the Yugoslav Wars. Spanning over 150 minutes and featuring talented filmmakers from around the world, this compilation delves into the complex realities of living in a country torn apart by conflict, social tensions, and the struggle for peace and unity.






The 11 Best Free Documentaries About The Yugoslavia War


1. Borislav Herak: Confessions of a Serbian Monster

Borislav Herak has an incredible story to tell. Growing up in a small town in Serbia, he faced many struggles with money, family and friends. But even more remarkable is his account of the crimes he committed while living abroad. In this interview, Borislav gives a full confession of all his wrongdoings – including how he managed to escape from prison! Hear about his journey from childhood through crime and finally freedom in this eye-opening documentary.


2. The Death of Yugoslavia (1/6)

The fall of Communism in the early 1990s was a tumultuous time for Yugoslavia, as violence and chaos ensued. This documentary series looks at how this affected the West’s relationship with the Balkans, and we witness first-hand how nationalism began to take root in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina when they declared their independence. Tune into this episode on YouTube to learn more about this turbulent period – don’t miss out!


3. The Yugoslav Wars – History, Hatred, and War Crimes

The Yugoslav Wars were a series of armed conflicts that took place from 1991 to 2001 and left behind a horrific humanitarian crisis. This conflict, stemming from the dissolution of Yugoslavia, cost the lives of over 130,000 people and resulted in numerous war crimes such as genocide and ethnic cleansing. It stands out as one of the most devastating tragedies since WWII.



4. The Worst War You Never Learned About


5. The 2001 Insurgency In Macedonia | The Forgotten Final Yugoslav War

Explore the forgotten conflict that shaped Macedonia for decades: the Insurgency In North Macedonia. Starting in 1991, Yugoslavia came apart at the seams resulting in a series of wars including the Croatian, Bosnian and Kosovo Wars. This final war in 2001 is lesser known but no less important when considering its impact on the country’s history.


6. Why did Yugoslavia Collapse?

Yugoslavia, a once-united federation made up of six neighboring republics, had its existence marked by constant ethnic and religious divisions. But what really caused the collapse of this nation? How did these disputes lead to the destruction of an entire federation? In this documentary we explore how Yugoslavia’s complex history resulted in its eventual demise. Join us as we journey through time to understand why one nation was no more.


7. The Breakup of Yugoslavia Explained

The breakup of Yugoslavia is a complex and multi-layered topic. In this documentary, we explore the history behind this event and explain why it happened. We discuss how economic stagnation, ethno-nationalism, geopolitical interests, and other factors all played a role in the dissolution of Yugoslavia. This video offers an informative look at one of the most important events in recent European history.


8. Tito and Market Socialism – Cold War DOCUMENTARY

The Cold War was a time of intense political and ideological rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. This documentary series takes you on an exploration through one of the most interesting aspects of this period – the complex history of Yugoslavia during Tito’s reign. We will look at Market Socialism, how it functioned in the Cold War era, and its importance to both sides of the conflict. Join us as we dive into this fascinating topic!


9. How Yugoslavia Practically Liberated Itself in WW2 | Animated History

World War 2 is a time of great change and turmoil. Yugoslavia was no exception. This video explains how the country liberated itself from Nazi rule, through its own strength and will power. From insurgencies to partisan groups, discover how this small nation managed to overturn oppressive forces in one of history’s most remarkable stories! Watch now to learn more about Yugoslavia’s struggle for freedom during WW2!


10. The Second Balkan War – Explained in 10 minutes

The Second Balkan War was one of the most devastating conflicts in European history. In this video, learn about the causes and consequences of this conflict in just 10 minutes! We will cover what led to it, how it unfolded and its lasting effects today. With a better understanding of the Battle for Macedonia, you can gain insight into why tensions still remain in this region.


11. How Did Yugoslavia Break-Up

The break-up of Yugoslavia was an event that many people still don’t understand. This documentary takes a look at the history and politics behind this major event, exploring the causes and effects that led to its fragmentation. From international pressures to internal divisions, this video provides insight into why Yugoslavia broke up and how it changed the world forever.


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David B