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The History of Genocide in Cinema
Atrocities on Screen. International Library of Twentieth Century History
The organization 'Genocide Watch' estimates that 100 million civilians around the globe have lost their lives as a result of genocide in only the past sixty years. Over the same period, the visual arts in the form of documentary footage has aided international efforts to document genocide and prosecute those responsible, but this book argues that fictional representation occupies an equally important and problematic place in the process of shaping minds on the subject. Edited by two of the leading experts in the field, The History of Genocide in Cinema analyzes fictional and semi-fictional portrayals of genocide, focusing on, amongst others, the repression of indigenous populations in Australia, the genocide of Native Americans in the 19th century, the Herero genocide, Armenia, the Holodomor (Stalin's policy of starvation in Ukraine), the Nazi Holocaust, Nanking and Darfur. Comprehensive and unique in its focus on fiction films, as opposed to documentaries, The History of Genocide in Cinema is an essential resource for students and researchers in the fields of cultural history, holocaust studies and the history of film.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'The History of Genocide in Film is powerful, painful and poignant - the rest is commentary. In eighteen thoughtful essays this book offers both a concise and clear general history of multiple genocides and the attempts to portray them in film. It grapples with major issues associated with these films including the difficulty and necessity of representation and the tension between a fidelity to history and an appeal to a popular audience. It has added many - perhaps too many -- films to my "must see" list. The reader will come away with a sense of "deja vu, all over again" as patterns of genocide and their presentation in film emerge and one recalls not only the violence and the indifference of the past but the anguish of our day as sadly genocide is not confined to the history and the cinematographer's task continues, perhaps these films will serve as a warning, more likely they will not but the mission to bear witness has only become more urgent in our time.' - Michael Berenbaum