Academic journal article Afterimage

The Last Survivor

Academic journal article Afterimage

The Last Survivor

Article excerpt

DIRECTED BY MICHAEL PERTNOY AND MICHAEL KLEIMAN/ RIGHTEOUS PICTURES, 2010/87 MINS.

While film critics and art historians debate the possibility of an adequate visual description of the depth of pain experienced in world conflicts, filmmakers continue to face the profound challenge of addressing issues such as genocide with sensitivity. In the film The Last Survivor, directors Michael Kleiman and Michael Pertnoy compassionately depict the current lives of a diverse group of survivors as they face life after genocide. Kleiman and Pertnoy demonstrate thoughtful choices in terms of participants' ages, genders, and nationalities, including a World War II Holocaust survivor living in Denmark, two young adult survivors of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda and Congo, and a refugee from Darfur living in Israel. This generous geographic scope enlarges the heart of the film without losing the intimate portrayal of individual lives. In addition, the sweeping environmental landscapes offer a visual respite from the weighty material that includes highly graphic images from the Tutsi genocide in Congo.

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The principal characters necessarily share their terrifying and devastating personal histories, and are also simultaneously portrayed as active players in genocide prevention efforts ranging from leading support groups to political action and youth education. …

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