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Film / History / Genocide Studies


Film and Genocide
Edited by Kristi M. Wilson and Tomás F. Crowder-Taraborrelli

Groundbreaking and consistently engaging, Film and Genocide may become a classic. It explores a wide range of films and archival sources and features memorable interviews with filmmakers."
—Adam Jones, author of Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction

Film and Genocide brings together scholars of film and of genocide to discuss film representations, both fictional and documentary, of the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and genocides in Chile, Australia, Rwanda, and the United States. Since 1955, when Alain Resnais created his experimental documentary Night and Fog about the Nazis’ mass killings of Jews and other ostracized groups, filmmakers have struggled with using this medium to tell such difficult stories, to re-create the sociopolitical contexts of genocide, and to urge awareness and action among viewers. This volume looks at such issues as realism versus fiction, the challenge of depicting atrocities in a manner palatable to spectators and film distributors, the Holocaust film as a model for films about other genocides, and the role of new technologies in disseminating films about genocide.

Film and Genocide also includes interviews with three film directors, who discuss their experiences in working with deeply disturbing images and bringing hidden stories to life: Irek Dobrowolski, director of The Portraitist (2005) a documentary about Wilhelm Brasse, an Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoner ordered to take more than 40,000
photos at the camp; Nick Hughes, director of 100 Days (2005) a dramatic film about the Rwandan mass killings; and Greg Barker, director of Ghosts of Rwanda (2004), a television documentary for Frontline.

Kristi M. Wilson is director of the Writing Program and assistant professor of rhetoric and humanities, and Tomás F. Crowder-Taraborrelli is visiting professor of Latin American studies, both at Soka University of America in California.


Film and Genocide makes a valuable contribution to a new and important field of research, which takes a comparative approach not just to the history of genocide but also to its representation.”
H-Net Reviews

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

January 2012
LC: 2011017751 PN
276 pp.  6 x 9  20 b/w film stills

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Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-28564-7
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Contributors include: Georgiana Banita, Jennifer L. Barker, Paul R. Bartrop, Piotr A. Cieplak, Stephen Cooper, Donna-Lee Frieze, Madelaine Hron, Michael J. Lazzara, Richard O'Connell, Marsha Orgeron and Sophia Wood

"With great sensitivity, these essays explore the aesthetic and ethical dilemmas in representing genocide, as they examine representations of genocide across history, geography, and culture, and across fictional and documentary cinema."

—David D
esser, coauthor of American-Jewish Filmmakers

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Updated August 23, 2011

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