“FREEDOM FROM DESPAIR is a powerful, moving film, documenting a much neglected piece of modern history. Brenda Brkusic has created a memorable portrait of a people, a culture, and one man’s hard-fought journey to freedom.”
David S. Ward, Screenwriter
(SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, THE STING -Academy Award winning Screenwriter)

Screens at ARTIVIST FILM FESTIVAL -APRIL 23, 8:00 PM, Egyptian Theatre

Brenda Brkusic’s debut film, FREEDOM FROM DESPAIR, will have its Los Angeles debut at the Artivist Film Festival on April 23, 2005. The screening of this moving film will be followed by a spirited Human Rights Forum. Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the New York International Independent Film Festival, FREEDOM FROM DESPAIR is a riveting, feature-length documentary that introduces us to a 20th Century freedom fighter – who happens to be Brkusic’s father.

Having risked his life escaping on foot to Italy from the tyranny of Communist Yugoslavia in 1957, Kruno Brkusic made his way to America to make his dream of a free life a reality. However, almost forty years later, as he sees his homeland ravaged by war during the dissolution of Yugoslavia, he raises his voice to defend his people. His courageous journey takes him from street demonstrations to the bastions of mainstream media and to the halls of Congress, to challenge a President and alert the world to the massacre allowed to take place while the world looked the other way; while America, his adopted land of freedom, supported the tyranny of two of the world’s bloodiest dictators, Josip Broz Tito and Slobodan Milosevic. The Croatian people could have no better champion. In this celebration of culture, democracy, and the strength of the human spirit, we see Kruno Brkusic’s work help heal a nation, with courage, faith, and an overwhelming desire to fight for FREEDOM FROM DESPAIR

With stirring archival footage, moving interviews, narration by actor John Savage (DARK ANGEL, THE DEER HUNTER), and voice over by Michael York (AUSTIN POWERS, CABARET) and Beata Pozniak (JAG, Oliver Stone’s JFK), Brenda Brkusic has made a film that has won awards at many film festivals as it touches and inspires audiences everywhere it plays.

“FREEDOM FROM DESPAIR is a film about something very important. It is a film that shows us that there are still things in this world that are worthy of our tears. Some films feel as if they have to be made, and this is one.”
Lewis Chesler, Producer

www.freedomfromdespair.com; www.artivistfilmfestival.org