Screening: The Brooklyn Connection – How to Build a Guerilla Army

Screening Monday 7th April, 2008

How do you tell a freedom fighter from a terrorist?  If you met Florin Krasniqi in his Brooklyn neighbourhood, you wouldn’t likely think he was either.  After hearing his story, you would certainly know he was one or the other – but which one?

Originally not a political man, Krasniqi was transformed after returning to Kosovo in 1997 to attend the funeral of his cousin who was killed as tensions between the Serb and Kosovo-Albanian population started to escalate. He returned to the US determined to use the country’s freedoms to outfit a guerrilla army, raising $30 million dollars to arm the emergent Kosovo Liberation Army.

In the Brooklyn Connection we meet Krasniqi’s friends and family, even accompanying him on one of his regular trips to the gun store to stock up on supplies for his comrades back in Kosovo. Unapologetic about his operation, he isn’t afraid to lie to grease the wheels, explaining to a bemused gun salesman that the high tech assault rifle he’s buying is for hunting elephants.

Presented with a dry sense of humour, director Klaartje Quirijns gives us a barely believable insight into Krasniqi’s life in the US and his ties in the homeland.

Directed by: Klaartje Quirijns
Length: 52 mins
Year: 2005