Presenter Information

Amy Palace, University of IowaFollow

Major(s)

International Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication

Minor(s)

Spanish

Mentor Department

English

Abstract

Since 2003 when the Sudanese government unleashed its militia known as the janjaweed on the civilians of Darfur, an estimated 300,000 people were killed in the following two years and 400 villages were destroyed. In September 2004, the Bush administration declared the situation in Darfur a genocide and since then, over 10 documentaries have been created about Darfur, falling across a broad spectrum of style and representation. My research compares three films, All About Darfur, Sand and Sorrow, and On Our Watch. Each must address pressing ethical concerns, both in choosing how to appropriately portray suffering, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls of stereotyping Africa. Each is created for a slightly different audience and I analyze how stylistic differences reflect the differing agendas of each documentary and how each film interprets the role of the international community in the face of a genocide.

Rights

Copyright © 2009 Amy Palace

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Cinematizing Atrocity: A Comparison of Darfur Documentaries

Since 2003 when the Sudanese government unleashed its militia known as the janjaweed on the civilians of Darfur, an estimated 300,000 people were killed in the following two years and 400 villages were destroyed. In September 2004, the Bush administration declared the situation in Darfur a genocide and since then, over 10 documentaries have been created about Darfur, falling across a broad spectrum of style and representation. My research compares three films, All About Darfur, Sand and Sorrow, and On Our Watch. Each must address pressing ethical concerns, both in choosing how to appropriately portray suffering, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls of stereotyping Africa. Each is created for a slightly different audience and I analyze how stylistic differences reflect the differing agendas of each documentary and how each film interprets the role of the international community in the face of a genocide.