Implicit Criminologies in the Filmic Representations of Genocide

  • Mark Bostock
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)


The popular success of commercial films depicting events of mass atrocity is the theme of this contribution. Films on the theme of the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide, for example, demonstrate a demand amongst audiences for a cinematic experience of genocide. The author addresses the extent to which filmic representations of genocide include elements that purport to elucidate the causes, organisation and perpetration of such events of mass atrocity. Genocide films tend to harbour implicit criminologies and it is to those that attention is directed in this contribution. A reflective documentary analysis is conducted on the films Schindler’s List (Spielberg, 1993), Conspiracy (Pierson, 2001), Hotel Rwanda (George, 2004) and Sometimes in April (Peck, 2005). These films enable the exploration of representations which chronicle the experience of genocide from the perspectives of victims, perpetrators and bystanders.


Implicit criminology Film Ethnic genocide Modern genocide 


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  3. Schindler’s List. (1993). [DVD] Steven Spielberg. Dir. Poland: Universal Pictures.Google Scholar
  4. Sometimes in April. (2005). [DVD] Raoul Peck. Dir. Rwanda: HBO.Google Scholar


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Bostock
    • 1
  1. 1.MacclesfieldUK

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