The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

STAND Summer Film List

Looking for an interesting genocide movie to watch this summer? Don’t worry, STAND has got you covered! We reached out to STAND members and alumni to figure out the best recommendations out there. This blog post doesn’t have all of the film recommendations, but these should tide you over for the next couple of months! Similar blog posts with more books, films, blogs and twitter accounts will be out soon.

Schindler’s List (1993)- 

STAND members really like Schindler’s List. STAND Policy Intern and chapter leader Timmy Hirschel-Burns says “Schindler’s List powerfully examines acts of heroism among the horrors of the Holocaust. Although the Holocaust demonstrates the massive negative potential humans have, Schindler’s List also demonstrates the bravery of those who resisted it.” Last year’s West Regional Organizer, Heather Klain, and Jessica Goldstein, STAND Communications Intern and chapter leader also recommend this film. Bri’Anne Parkin, a Lemkin Summit attendee, and Julia Zukin, a rising senior at Emory University both recommend this film as well.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)-

Jessica Goldstein, STAND Communications Intern and chapter leader says, “Hotel Rwanda tells the story of one man–Paul Rusesabagina–to save his country (or at least a few people) from a genocide that is engulfing it. As far as genocide movies go, this one is a classic, a must-watch.” Heather Klain, last year’s West Regional Organizer, Bri’Anne Parkin, and Julia Zukin, a rising senior at Emory University also recommend this film as well.

The Act of Killing (2013)-

Former STAND Policy Coordinator, Danny Hirschel-Burns describes it as “the best film in existence about how perpetrators think, what drives them, and how they manage to commit unimaginable violence.” Justin Schmierer, a former regional organizer expressed: “The Act of Killing was really a great documentary in my opinion. Just saying, if people haven’t seen it.” Recent graduate of Ohio University and former co-president of the Ohio University STAND chapter Neti Gupta also recommends the film.

Watchers of the Sky (2014)-

Southeast Regional Organizer Bethany Vance, a rising sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill stated, “‘Watchers of the Sky’ is a documentary based on the work of Raphael Lemkin ( who invented the term “genocide”) while also taking a look at the contributions of others to the fight against genocide and mass atrocities. Lemkin lost his entire family during World War 2 and devoted the better part of his life to inventing a term for the deliberate killing of a large group of people in order to make it easier to prosecute those who commit acts of genocide.” Heather Klain, a former Western Regional Organizer also recommends this film.

Hannah Arendt (2012)-

Former Education Coordinator Sean Langberg expressed, “The movie explores Arendt’s contributions to the narrative of the Holocaust (and thus genocide rhetoric more broadly) that developed following the trial of Eichmann. I enjoyed learning more about how she refused to accept the bad apples’ story that was being told at the time.”

War Dance (2007)-

War Dance tells the story of three Ugandan children living in Potango refugee camp who have the opportunity to participate in a nationwide music and dance competition. Bri’Anne, a Lemkin Summit attended concludes that “War Dance is a pretty powerful film. It’s one of my favorites.”

Worse than War (2009)-

Jessica Goldstein, STAND Communications Intern and chapter leader says, “This film is for anyone who wants to understand the concept of genocide. Daniel Goldhagen’s interview with a genocidaire is unforgettable.”

Concerning Violence (2014)-

Recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill Danielle Allyn, a former STAND Education Task Force member says, “This documentary, based on the life and writings of Frantz Fanon, displays the everyday violence of colonial regimes in Africa and analyzes methods of resistance. Not a feel-good film but necessary all the same.”

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) –

Former STAND Policy Coordinator, Danny Hirschel-Burns says, “it’s the best film I’ve ever seen about how violent politics work. The characters are multi-faceted and they’re struggling with dilemmas many people in conflict zones experience: how much power to cede to outsiders, the effectiveness of armed struggle, and the implications of sectarianism.”

The Good Lie (2014)-

STAND Student Director, Francesca Freeman, says; “The Good Lie is a film that documents the experience of Sudanese refugees from the attack on their village to their life in the United States. Many of the actors in the movie are Sudanese and either lived through or are related to people who lived through different conflicts in the region. Additionally, the Enough Project played a large part in the making of the film, and therefore it is historically accurate and effectively portrays the experience of the Lost Boys of Sudan.”

Virunga (2014)-

STAND Communications Intern and chapter leader Jessica Goldstein says, “I’ve been obsessed with this movie even before I saw it. I remember watching and rewatching the preview of this film until I finally got to see it. This film deserves all the hype it is getting. It shares the story of conservationists who understand that the park’s success is inextricably bound to Congo’s survival.”’

Look out for more comprehensive lists to come! Thanks to all of the STAND members who contributed to this list! Contact Francesca Freeman at if you have any questions or contributions.


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