6 Heart Breaking Movies About Genocide

Friday, January 13 by Joseph Gibson

Hotel Rwanda don cheadle.jpg

The attempted systematic destruction of an entire race of people is a pretty unpleasant business. Unsurprisingly, the movies on the subject tend to be pretty heartbreaking as well. If you're in the mood for some genocidal entertainment, you might want to see a therapist or something. But here are five movies about genocide anyway.

"Full Metal Jacket"

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	It might be controversial to call the war in Vietnam a genocide, but when you see the "exterminate them all" tactics and the inhuman aggression cultivated by the <a href='http://www.screenjunkies.com/tag/marines/' class='linkify' target='_blank'>Marines</a> in Stanley <span data-scayt_word=Kubrick's war/anti-war masterpiece, it will be hard to disagree. The real heartbreak in the movie though comes from watching the relatively innocent recruits become killing machines.

"New Jack City"

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Again, it's not exactly by-the-book to describe the crack epidemic as a "genocide." But the seemingly countless amount of young black men that fall by the wayside during the height of the crack era can back it up. That's the POV of "New Jack City," one of the best gangster movies to come out of the crack era. Wesley Snipes makes a pretty great villain, and nothing says "heartbreaking" like poor Chris Rock, who meets a bad end because of his addiction to crack.

"Schindler's List"

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No one could argue that "Schindler's List" isn't about genocide – in fact it's about the most famous instance of genocide in history: The Holocaust. Steven Spielberg manages to wring both tears and inspiration from the true story of one German who managed to save hundreds of Jewish lives during World War II.

"Black Hawk Down"

Although it doesn't deal with Somalian genocide directly, Ridley Scott's war film "Black Hawk Down" shows in horrifying detail the ripple effect of such events. Josh Hartnett leads a group of Army Rangers sent to Somalia to intervene in civil war and genocide, and the results are unforgettably violent and bloody.

"Hotel Rwanda"

Hotel Rwanda nick nolte don cheadle.jpg

One good thing about movies about genocide is that they can bring attention to genocides that may have passed under the radar. That was the case with the horrible situation in Rwanda, which was illuminated in the minds of many moviegoers with "Hotel Rwanda" starring Don Cheadle. In fact, one of the themes of the movie is the apathy of those lucky enough to not live in affected areas.