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And how can memorials encourage dialogue about the legacy of war? We discuss these two questions At every HILAC-lecture a renowned legal expert elaborates on a specific challenge regarding humanitarian law in relation to war and discusses this topic with the audience. During the program Invisible: The war after the war you hear personal stories from aid workers, from people who have experienced war and from international policy makers. Together they answer the Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, Although much has been written about Holocaust films, and some literature exists around films about genocides other than the Holocaust, few have brought these films and indeed literature into conversation with each other to discuss the bigger and comparative question of how genocide is represented in film.

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Crowder-Taraborrelli attempt just that with their collection Film and Genocide , and as such are making an important contribution to a new subfield of genocide studies, along with the summer special issue of the journal Shofar , edited by Lawrence Baron, and the forthcoming volume Holocaust Intersections: Genocide and Visual Culture at the New Millennium , edited by Axel Bangert, Robert S.

Gordon, and Libby Saxton. Film and Genocide does not explicitly explore the fascinating "intersections" between cinematic portrayals of the Holocaust and other genocides in the manner of Michael Rothberg's Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization [] , like many of the essays in the other two collections. Film and Genocide 's broader concern with the cinema of genocide, rather than the Holocaust as an orienting device, sets it apart in this nascent field.

The editors have opted for a relatively broad and inclusive definition of "genocide," since they feel that such a definition "best represents the type of dialogue and debate already at play in many films and theoretical discussions about the topic" p. As Wilson and Crowder-Taraborrelli write in their introduction, whilst there are often debates over how far the United Nations Genocide Convention's quite narrow definition can be applied, "filmmakers are in a unique position to push the limits of this application.

The medium of film has the ability to conjure up images that call to mind the dimensions of atrocities committed including genocide. Thus, film operates well as a vehicle for mourning and remembrance" p.

How Rwandans are writing about the genocide

The majority of the contributions are indeed quite closely concerned with the important, albeit obvious, work of analyzing these conjured images of atrocity, and with the films' "common preoccupation with questions of what to show, how to show it, and how much is too much to show"--pursuing, in particular, questions of ethical spectatorship, trauma, narrative, and visual documentation p. Film and Genocide is divided into four sections. Part 1, "Atrocities, Spectatorship, and Memory," brings together such concerns as voyeurism, ethical and pedagogical spectatorship, and the way films engage with the lingering impact of genocide on communities.

Sophia Wood's chapter, "Film and Atrocity: The Holocaust as Spectacle," discusses the place of visual records of the Holocaust as "aids" to memory and as "integral" to the ways in which the Holocaust is remembered pp. She begins with a summary of many of the debates that have dominated discussions of atrocity images--do such images anaesthetize, is viewing them voyeuristic, what is the ethical viewing position to adopt--but without adding to the substance of these debates, or moving them past their tendency toward ahistorical generalization and conjecture do such images always anaesthetize, or are some generations, or cultures, or individuals, more "anesthetized" than others?


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Is viewing such images always voyeuristic, or might there be viewing contexts or certain representations which undo or resist that? She then discusses how and how far the Holocaust is maintained and sanitized as a "spectacle" through an analysis of Schindler's List , Shoah , Night and Fog , and Life Is Beautiful Her argument that "the testimony of those who survived the Holocaust can reanimate this 'human waste'" and thereby mitigate the distancing effects of atrocity images is more interesting, but this question is only picked up in relation to Shoah and cursorily with Night and Fog p.

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In the end, it is subordinated to her overarching and rather standard argument that "the actual and re-created scenes that make up our memory are at best gratuitous and at worst indecent. The public gaze levelled at the Holocaust should be continually, critically appraised" p. Barker revisits what is regarded as the director's least "Wellesian" film, released in Barker contextualizes the film ably, and her analysis focuses on the showing of some original Holocaust footage as a film within a film.

In her compelling presentation, Schulberg played an expert from the trials and explained that in her recent work on the restoration of the film, she was able to enhance the voices of the prosecutors and the Nazi perpetrators to hear some of their never before heard defenses and confessions. Her unparalleled cinematic work allowed the audience to look into the faces of those that have committed these heinous acts and hear their testimonies of the events that took place during WWII.

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Through her Holocaust project, Sandra has been able to share with the world, some of the most pivotal moments in Holocaust history. Schulberg's also showed played an with Benjamin B.

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Ferencz who was one of the prosecutors during the Nuremberg trial. At its end, Ferencz is overcome while describing the challenge of placing a value on each Jewish life, exposing one of the lesser known but equally momentous events in the years following the Holocaust. The evening concluded with an lively question and answer period, giving the audience the rare chance to ask questions of prominent producers who have made genocide and human rights documentaries. From this Zoryan Institute event, hosted in partnership with the Neuberger HEW, the audience was able to understand the important role that film plays in keeping the memory of the genocide victims alive, combating genocide denial and most importantly, educating the next generation about these crimes in order to better prevent them from happening in the future.

Sona Haroutyunian and Dr. Alan Whitehorn. November 10, Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter.


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