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Teaching Religion and Film$
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Gregory J. Watkins

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335989.001.0001

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 Searching for Peace in Films about Genocide

 Searching for Peace in Films about Genocide

(p.283) 17 Searching for Peace in Films about Genocide
Teaching Religion and Film

Jolyon Mitchell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Focusing on the film Shooting Dogs (2005) and its specific historical context, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, this chapter brings to light many of the different lines of inquiry available when teaching about genocide from a religious perspective. The chapter communicates the wealth of pedagogical potential by examining the themes of absence, ritual, and presence in Shooting Dogs and then by considering the more general issues of witnessing, viewing, and remembering when it comes to the moral challenges of the fact of genocide. The chapter contends that film education, at its best, can assist students in developing a more critical understanding of the difficulties raised by attempting to depict genocide cinematically, the related religious and theological issues, and the wider problems and values of cinematic violence. Undertaken in a creative, supportive, and imaginative environment, film education that focuses on seeing through films about genocide may even inspire students to consider ways of living that will promote a more peaceful world.

Keywords:   religion and film, pedagogy, genocide, peace, peace studies, violence, problem of evil, Shooting Dogs, ritual, absence, presence

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