The Century Of Simon Wiesentahl
The world's most famous Nazi hunter reveals his life story. (60 min)
Communities in Dialogue: Healing the Wounds of War
This film is about people taking action to stop the cycles of war and violence that have fractured and sometimes destroyed their communities. focusing especially on the aftermath of the was in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s, it portrays the work of Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization engaged in conflict transformation projects around the world. With footage from Karuna Center;s six-year training in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this film reveals the healing that can emerge when survivors of violent conflicts engage in authentic, inter-communal dialogue, reweaving relationships as they move together toward a more peaceful future. DVD. 40 minutes.
Confronting the Truth: Truth Commissions and Societies in Transition
Confronting the Truth shows how countries, which have experienced massive human rights violations, have created official, independent bodies known as truth commissions. Since 1983, truth commissions have been established in over 20 countries, in all parts of the world. Confronting the Truth documents the work of truth commissions in South Africa, Peru, East Timor, and Morocco. Taking testimony from victims and perpetrators, and conducting detailed investigations, truth commissions create a historical record of abuses that have often remained secret. They identify patterns of abuse, and the structural and institutional weaknesses, and societal and cultural problems, and weak legal systems that made the violation possible. To remedy these faults, they recommend governmental, societal and legal reforms to address the pain of the past, to safeguard human rights and due process, and to ensure that the horror will not be repeated. 73 minutes. DVD only.
Freedom Is Not A Gift From Heaven: The Century Of Simon Wiesenthal
With this quality presented video, viewers get Wiesenthal's life story straight from his own mouth – the facts of his life and the philosophy that sustains him. Whether he is visiting Holocaust sites, sharing his thoughts with German high school students, or just telling his life story quietly to the camera, the man reveals in simple words his passion for "first, the truth: then, justice." Grades 7 and up. Yiddish and German with English subtitles. Color.(60 min)
Gacaca: Living Together Again in Rwanda?
In 1994, decades of politically motivated ethnic scapegoating culminated in a wholesale slaughter of the Rwanda's Tutsi minority, along with many Hutu moderates. Vast numbers of ordinary citizens became killers - some willingly and some by force. More than 800,000 lives were taken, and the country was left in a state of devastation. Under a new government, Rwanda is rebuilding its physical and administrative infrastructure, but its most difficult task is to foster reconciliation between the Hutu and Tutsi. Venturing into the rural heart of the nation, GACACA, LIVING TOGETHER AGAIN IN RWANDA? follows the first steps in a bold experiment in reconciliation: the Gacaca (Ga-CHA-cha) Tribunals. The Gacaca Tribunals represent a remarkable democratization of justice for a people accustomed to dictatorial authority. The Tribunals offer a voice, and perhaps a therapeutic catharsis, to survivors. However, the system is fraught with potential pitfalls: minimally trained judges will be assigned complex cases, false accusations or confessions are possible, revenge or fear of revenge will affect testimonies, inconsistent application of the law, etc. The film crew was then present when the nearly 1,000 Rwandans were gathered for the first of a series of open-air "Pre-Gacaca" hearings, whose two-fold purpose is to clear the prisons of innocent detainees by public approbation, and to educate Rwandans about the Gacaca trials to come. Amidst a people renowned for their reserve, Anne Aghion spent six weeks recording the intertwining stories of survivors and prisoners, and their visions of the future. GACACA opens a chapter to a new era, and is an astonishing, intimate look at the strength of the human spirit. "The film captures quite precisely much of what is most compelling and unsettling about Rwanda's quest for justice after genocide and, more: it captures the feel of Rwanda, the landscape, the texture of the place, the rhythm of speech and movement, the weird brilliance of colors amid the gloom of the spirit." - Philip Gourevitch, Author of We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, Stories from Rwanda "Excellent... It lets Rwandans speak about the challenges of rebuilding a life, a sense of community, and a system of justice after atrocious violence...An excellent pedagogical tool for classes on Rwanda, on transitional justice, or on reconciliation and reintegration." - Peter Uvin, Director of the Institute for Human Security, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University / Author of "Aiding Violence, the Development Enterprise in Rwanda" "Recommended. This is a fine film which will fuel many lively discussions not only on the issue of justice in Rwanda, but justice in the face of heinous crimes against humanity." - Educational Media Reviews Online "For someone studying the Rwandan genocide and reconciliation efforts, GACACA provides a view seldom seen." - Online Journal for Peace and Conflict Resolution 55 minutes. DVD.
In Rwanda We Say...The Family that does not Speak, Dies
Emmy Award-winner (2005) Since 1999, award-winning filmmaker Anne Aghion has traveled to rural Rwanda, to chart the impact of that country's efforts at ethnic reconciliation. In Rwanda we say... The family that does not speak dies, her second film on the subject, continues Aghion's quest to learn how the human spirit survives a trauma as unfathomable as the attempt, in 1994, to wipe out the Tutsi minority, with 800,000 lives claimed in 100 days. In Rwanda we say... is the next chapter in a fascinating and intimate look at how, and whether, people can overcome fear, hatred and deep emotional scars, to forge a common future after genocide. Aghion's influential 2002 film, Gacaca, Living Together Again in Rwanda? captured the feelings of both survivors and alleged killers in the remote community of Ntongwe, just as the government was announcing the Gacaca (ga-CHA-cha), a new system of citizen-based justice intended to handle over 100,000 genocide suspects languishing in detention. In Rwanda we say...returns two years later as close to 16,000 of these suspects, still untried, are released across the country: having confessed to their crimes, and served the maximum sentence the Gacaca will eventually impose, suspects of appalling crimes are sent home to plow fields and fetch water alongside the people they are accused of victimizing. In Rwanda we say... focuses on the release of one suspect, and the effect of his return on this tiny hillside hamlet. While the government's message of a "united Rwandan family" infiltrates the language of the community, reactions to this imposed co-existence reel from numb acceptance to repressed rage. Violence seems to lurk just below the surface. What unfolds, however, is an astonishing testament to the liberating power of speech: little by little, people begin to talk in a profound and articulate way - first to the camera, and then to each other -- as these neighbors negotiate the emotional task of accepting life side by side. 54 minutes. DVD.
In the Tall Grass: Inside the citizen-based justice system Gacaca
In the Tall Grass picks up where Hotel Rwanda left off, focusing on the Hutu and Tutsi as they struggle through Rwanda's unique reconciliation process Gacaca, a network of grassroots community courts. With unprecedented access, this powerful documentary follows a survivor through this historic process as she confronts the man she says murdered her husband and children, giving audiences a stark and terrifying look at how the genocide of 1994 continues to shape the lives of Rwandans today. She receives some justice, and her village finally faces their pain, but she is only one story in hundreds of thousands. In the Tall Grass delivers a raw and uncompromising look at the tremendous challenges faced by post-genocide countries like Rwanda, as they transition from violence to peace.
Murderers Among Us
A powerful and harrowing retelling of the life of Simon Wiesenthal, haunted by memories of his experience in Nazi concentration camps. This 1988 production focuses on his untiring efforts to gather evidence from his fellow survivors and bear witness against Adolf Eichmann and Franz Murer, the infamous "Butcher of Vilna." One interesting scene has Wiesenthal wrestling with the dilemma of forgiving a dying SS soldier who, as a Catholic, asks him for forgiveness for the atrocities he committed against Jews on the eastern front. Stars Ben Kingsley. Grades 9 and up. Color. (160 min.)
Courtroom drama which follows an attorney who agrees to defend her Hungarian immigrant father against charges of war crimes committed 50 years earlier. As she searches for evidence to establish innocence, she also examines her doubts about his past. VHS and DVD. (126 min)
The Judge and the General
When in 1998 Chilean judge Juan Guzmán was assigned the first criminal cases against the country's ex-dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, no one expected much. Guzmán had supported Pinochet's 1973 coup against the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, and had worked as a judge during Pinochet's dictatorship. The filmmakers trace Guzmán descent into what he calls "the abyss," where he uncovers the past - including his own role in the tragedy. A cautionary tale about violating human rights in the name of "higher ideals." DVD, 83 minutes.
The Notebooks of Memory
This newly released third film in the series focuses on the Gacaca tribunals of local citizen-judges weighing survivor accounts of the massacres against the testimony of perpetrators. (2009) On a lush green Rwandan hillside, more than a decade after the 1994 genocide to wipe out the Tutsi population, a small rural community gathers on the grass over and over again for the Gacaca (ga-CHA-cha) trials, a unique experiment in justice meant to bring unity back to this nation. In The Notebooks of Memory award-winning filmmaker Anne Aghion spends four years following the process, as a tribunal of local citizen-judges weighs survivor accounts of the massacres against the testimony of perpretrators who barter confessions for reduced prison sentences. 53 minutes. DVD.
The Nuremberg Trial: War Crimes On Trial
The Nuremberg Trial was one of the most important trials of the 20th century. In 1945, an international court of judges from the United States, England, France and the Soviet Union tried 22 top Nazi leaders, including Hermann Goering and Rudolph Hess. The defendants were charged with conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The prosecution presented horrifying films of concentration camps, which were seen by many for the first time. Twelve defendants were sentenced to death, seven received prison terms and three were acquitted. This compelling documentary features an introduction by Steven Spielberg and commentary from Walter Cronkite. From Court TV. 50 minutes
The Specialist: Portrait of a Modern Criminal
A German worker in the upper echelons of the Nazi party, Adolf Eichmann was in charge of the expulsion of Jews, Slovenians, and Gypsies from the Reich between 1938 and 1941, and then of their deportation from Europe to the death camps. In 1960, he was captured by the Israeli secret service in Argentina. His subsequent trial in Jerusalem was one of the first public events recorded on video. Filmmakers Rony Brauman and Eyal Sivan have assembled excerpts of this footage to create a tightly edited and compelling documentary about a bureaucrat who has fulfilled his duties during a time of war. Eichmann steadfastly insists that his part in the Holocaust was neither active or evil: he was only following orders. At the outset of the trial, the prosecutor calls Eichmann an inhuman beast, but the thin balding man in a black suit who is taking copious notes and nervously interlaces his fingers during the course of the trial doesn't seem to fit that description. Even during the tensest moments and facing direct accusations by the prosecution who wants to see him hanged, he refuses to show remorse or culpability for his actions. The film is fascinating for Eichmann's resoluteness. By the nature of his answers, he proves himself to be the quintessential bureaucrat of Kafka's worst nightmare. Perhaps the most striking feature about Eichmann is just how ordinary he seems--not a monster, not a mad thinker, but an efficient man who sat behind a desk, processing forms. Based on Hannah Arendt's famous account of the trial, "The Specialist: Portrait of a Modern Criminal" offers profound insight into how the Holocaust was facilitated by bureaucracy and a subservient mindset that allowed people like Eichmann to claim ignorance and shuffle responsibility for atrocious crimes around like so many carbon-copy forms. The DVD features a substantial hour-long interview with the filmmakers, an excerpt of the book "In Praise of Disobedience," and extensive language options, which come in handy since the trial itself is multilingual. DVD. B&W. 123 minutes.