“Hero and Punishment” is a one-hour feature documentary film that explores one of World War II’s most controversial figures and unsung heroes – Draza Mihailovich.
Acclaimed Emmy® Nominated American Television Producer Rasha Drachkovitch (44 Blue Productions – Wahlburgers, Lockup, Pitbulls and Parolees) spent 6 years filming across the U.S. and Europe editing together the most comprehensive examination of General Mihailovich’s spectacular rise and fall.
In 1941, as a Yugoslav Royal Army officer, Mihailovich founded the infamous resistance movement, the Chetniks, to fight against the German occupation, before turning against the communist guerrillas of General Tito later in the war.
The life of this once great leader came to a tragic end when after the war finished, he was jailed and sentenced to death in a hastily arranged trial and buried in an unmarked grave.
In 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman posthumously awarded Mihailovich the Legion of Merit for his role in rescuing hundreds of U.S. airmen downed by the Nazis over Serbia.
“Hero and Punishment” also explores to role of the media and how it shaped public opinion of the General; initially portraying him as a sympathetic hero – leading the first guerrilla movement against the Nazis – and towards the end of the war – as a traitor and collaborator.
Interviews with leading historical experts in Washington DC, London and Belgrade contribute to the narrative of the film. Radio excerpts, filmed archive footage as well as film clips from movies like “The Fighting Chetniks” starring Orson Welles are featured in the documentary.
After 70 years, a never-seen-before film was uncovered at the National Archives in Washington DC. It is the only film ever recorded of Mihailovich as he carrying out World War II’s greatest rescue operation. Code-named ‘Operation: Halyard’, General Mihailovich and the Chetniks were responsible for rescuing 500 U.S. pilots from behind enemy lines.
Drachkovitch himself narrates the film and takes viewers on a journey across Europe’s historic locations for a first-hand analysis of one of greatest stories of World War II.
A mesmerizing story of courage, hope, struggle, betrayal and ultimately tragedy…
Duration: 60 or 45 minutes
Language: English (with translations)