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(E) VOTE for "Freedom from Despair" Feb 9-15!
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/8/2005 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E) VOTE for "Freedom from Despair" Feb 9-15!


Watch Freedom From Despair


Cinequest Film Festival's Online Viewer Voice Awards



From February 9-15, 2005, you will be able to watch and vote for Freedom from Despair in the Cinequest Film Festival's Online Viewer Voice Awards - an internet competition recognizing outstanding new films.

Starting Feb 9, 2005 go to  then click on Viewers Voice Collection and Competition.

You will be prompted to register as a voter using your email address. If you have already registered, then just log in using your email address.

Once you have registered and logged in, choose Freedom from Despair then click on Watch Full Feature in the gray box.

The film will download onto your Windows Media Player and you can watch it. You can vote for the film based on a 5 star rating system - 5 stars being the best! (the average number of stars combined with the average number of downloads per week determines the winners, so downloading will help to generate legitimate points for the film). You can also post notes about what you thought of the film. The top 3 films win a place in the Cinequest Film Festival in March.

Note: Full Features only viewable using Windows Media 9 on Windows 98/2000/XP. You may be prompted to install the software if it is not on your computer already. Please do so as it is supposed to be a very secure program. Also, the film is 95 minutes long, so please be patient as it will take some time to download the entire film for viewing.

Thank you very much and I appreciate your support. It is up to you to vote for this story so please do your part to help promote true history. A film on this subject only comes around once in a lifetime - now is the chance to support it! Please vote for Freedom from Despair!

Brenda Brkusic
Director, Freedom from Despair



Freedom from Despair is a feature length documentary that explores the untold history of Communist Yugoslavia through first hand interviews, stock footage, news reels and narrative recreations shot in the US and Croatia. The film portrays the incredible journey of Kruno Brkusic, who as a young man risked his life to flee from a regime that punished independent thought and suppressed Croatian culture through state-sanctioned terror, imprisonment and exile. In 1957 after escaping across the border to Italy, Kruno is given a chance to live in the USA and his dream of witnessing the free world is realized.

As Kruno’s homeland becomes scarred by war during the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1991, he becomes a voice in the American media, fighting to disseminate untrue propaganda and challenging the journalistic community to take a stand on human rights in that part of the world. As the nation sits by and watches the carnage on television, Kruno and thousands of Croatian-Americans demonstrate on Capitol Hill in a desperate attempt to convince George Bush Senior to recognize Croatia. The film examines the role certain administrations had in allowing the massacre of over 250,000 people to occur in the Balkans. It is a shocking look at that which was never revealed in the American mainstream media including the American government’s attempt keep Yugoslavia together by supporting two of the world’s bloodiest dictators, Josip Broz Tito and Slobodan Milosevic.

Interviewees include an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience, US Congressmen, a priest, a concentration camp survivor, authors on Croatian history, Kruno, his childhood friends, and his family. In exploring the atrocities committed and hidden by the Communist government of Yugoslavia and its allies, the filmmaker pieces together the shocking truth has been silenced within a generation of survivors for the past 60 years. Slowly, as these people are heard, the healing of a nation begins. Courage, faith, and an overwhelming desire to fight for freedom in the face of despair; these are the themes included in this film, making it a saga but also a celebration of culture, democracy, and the abiding strength in the human spirit.


The New York International Independent Film Festival
The International Student Film Festival Hollywood
The Chapman Studios Filmmaker Awards
FINALIST in the Anti-Defamation League’s Dore Schary Awards
SPECIAL RECOGNITION in the Dubrovnik International Film Festival

STARRING Michael York, John Savage, Beata Pozniak
MUSIC by Nenad Bach

The film was recently picked by Amnesty International to be included in "On Campus" film festivals that will take place in Universities around the United States.
The film has also been selected to screen at the Pula Film Festival, the ARPA International Film Festival and the Tiburon International Film Festival.


“A brilliant film” -The Tolucan Times

“A moving account” -The Studio City Sun

“A personal documentary” -The LA TIMES

“It is a must-see film for those who want to look into the window of truth. It is very likely that this fine film will send up in the archives of great documentaries”
-The Croatian Chronicle

“Brenda Brkusic is a young American filmmaker of Croatian decent who actually delved deep into the roots of the war in Croatia, unlike most foreign based directors who were lost in a myriad of ideological propaganda from all sides and left most things open-ended and unanswered”
-Voice of Croatia Radio Program

“Brenda Brkusic, American film producer of Croatian descent, is one of these authors we have been waiting for: young, gifted and brave. Brenda presented this tale without exaggeration, honestly and sincerely, with the author's courage which is imposing, but which is also without any ideology and propaganda. She gave through her personal dimension a very vivid presentation of a totalitarian time, the darkest sides of a system which mercilessly trampled human rights.”
-Hrvatsko Slovo Newspaper

“Brenda Brkusic has a very inspired directorial approach, and she achieved dramatic tension and rhythm, which even after one and one half hours time does not leave the viewer unmoved. Not only did she master her film profession, it is also obvious that she is a very gifted young film director, as she as a 23-year old made a mature and serious film for which even older colleagues in this domain could be envious.”
-Hrvatsko Slovo Newspaper

“Freedom from Despair is a powerful, moving film, documenting a much neglected piece of modern history - Croatia’s struggle for independence from the repression of Tito’s Yugoslavia and the brutality of the Balkan War. Brenda Brkusic has created a memorable portrait of a people, a culture, and one man’s hard-fought journey to freedom”
-David S. Ward, Academy Award Winning Filmmaker

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