Kwantlen’s Genocide Film Series club aims to educate

November 4, 2009 by  

Kwantlen’s Genocide Film Series club, an initiative of psychology professor Rajiv Jhangiani, hosts films on genocide twice a week in the Surrey Campus conference rooms.

The Oct. 28 showing of “The Killing Fields,” a Roland Joffe film about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from the mid-to-late ‘70s, drew only two students.

(The film, a drama depicting the horror of the genocide, followed the stories of real-life journalists Sydney Schanberg  of the New York Times and Cambodian Dith Pran. Pran wound up in the hands of the Khmer Rouge, and the film follows his experience through torture, oppression and slavery until his eventual escape from Cambodia.)

Robin Elson, a student of Jhangiani’s Psychology of Genocide class, Robin Elson was there to oversee the film.

“There are usually about 25 per cent more students here than this,” joked Elson.

A reason that not many people show up could be that students, other than the students in Psychology of Genocide, don’t know about it. “Other than that, I imagine that it’s a scheduling issue,” said Elson.

“Rajiv made the club for use of the facilities […] it’s for [the class] to give a historical context and knowledge of the events [of genocide].” They then discuss the films in class, though attending the films isn’t mandatory.

Though the club is aimed at students in Jhangiani’s class, anyone is welcome to attend, including non-Kwantlen students. There is a different film shown each week, on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for the rest of the fall semester. According to Elson, some films are helpful while others are not.

“Some of the movies are changed to be more palatable,” he said, explaining that the changes often show inaccuracies to. “World War Two [often] gets butchered.”

But Elson says showing the films is overall positive. “It’s with the aims of educating people,” he said “and to make [these events] stop.”

The following films will be shown at the Surrey campus, all beginning at 7 p.m.

  • Defiance: Nov.3 (Rm. D328) and Nov. 4 (G1205C Conference Centre C)
  • The Devil Came of Horseback: Nov. 10 (Rm. D328)
  • The Reader: Nov. 17 and 18 (Rm. D328)
  • Schindler’s List: Nov, 24 (G1205A Conference Centre A) and Nov. 25 (G1205C Conference Centre C)
  • Ararat: Dec. 1 (Rm. D328) and Dec. 2 (G1205A Conference Centre A)
  • Darfur Now: Dec. 8 and 9 (G1205A Conference Centre A)


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