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Through a Lens Darkly

Films of Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

Edited By John J. Michalczyk and SJ Raymond G. Helmick

While the ashes of the Holocaust were still fresh, Polish Jewish attorney Raphael Lemkin put a name to the tragedy that had decimated his family – genocide. The twentieth century was brutally scarred by the massive scale of genocide and its manifest forms of ethnic cleansing, massacres, and atrocities. We ask how these horrors can be visually translated to the screen while both maintaining their authenticity and serving as commercial «entertainment». Through an analysis of a series of poignant films on the plight of the Native Americans, the controversial Armenian genocide, the Holocaust and its legacy, the killing fields of Cambodia, and the Hutu-sponsored massacres in Rwanda, the reader can grasp the driving mechanisms of genocide and ethnic cleansing. The oft-repeated, «Never again» rings hollow to our ears in the wake of these tragedies in a post-Holocaust era. The films discussed here, both features and documentaries, are set in an historical context that sheds light on the dark side of humanity and are then discussed with the hope of better understanding our frailty. In the end, however, we ask can the «unrepresentable» ever be represented?

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List of Figures ................................................................................................ ix Acknowledgments.......................................................................................... xi John J. Michalczyk Foreword ...................................................................................................... xiii Raymond G. Helmick, SJ Introduction................................................................................................. xvii John J. Michalczyk Part One: Trail of Tears: Cleansing the Land of the Indian “Problem” “Make His Paths Straight”: Removing the Indian Obstacle to US Expansion....................................................................................... 3 Jordan Jennings Stagecoach (1939) and the Image of “Indians” in John Ford’s Films ............ 8 Marilyn J. Matelski Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007): The Epic Fall of the American Indian ..................................................................................... 17 Nancy Lynch Street Part Two: Armenian Genocide: “Who Remembers?” The Armenian Genocide: History and Turkish Government Denial ............ 31 Dikran M. Kaligian Atom Egoyan’s Ararat (2002) and the Critique of Diplomatic Reason ....... 38 Devin O. Pendas Everyone’s Not Here (1987): Families of the Armenian Genocide .............. 48 Paul Bookbinder Table of Contents vi Part Three: Nanking: Evil Unleashed The Rape of Nanking from a Chinese Perspective ....................................... 55 You Guo (Joseph) Jiang, SJ City of Life and Death (Nanjing! Nanjing! 2009) and the Silenced Nanjing Native ....................................................................................... 62 Rebecca Nedostup Nanking (2007): “A Question of Righteousness” ......................................... 67 Jeremy Clarke, SJ Part Four: Holocaust/Shoah: A Moral Tragedy and Where Was Man? The Growing Consciousness of the Shoah through Film: For Better or Worse ............................................................................... 75 John J. Michalczyk Night and Fog (1955): A Microcosm of the Genocide ................................. 97 John J. Michalczyk A Note on Image and Sound in Memory of the Camps (1985) ................... 103 Jeffrey Gutierrez The Flawed Vision in Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (1985) and the Corrective Lens of Pierre Sauvage .......................................... 107 James Bernauer, SJ The Architecture of Doom (1991)...

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