British film board launches online movie resource for A-Level students studying the Shoah

The 2017 movie 'Defiance', starring Daniel Craig, and 'Denial', with Rachel Weisz, are among the titles being recommended by the BBFC


Britain's film classification board has selected a range of films about genocide that can be used by schools to teach pupils about the Shoah in the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day 2024.

Freely available online, the list features the 2009 Daniel Craig feature Defiance, in which three brothers resist the Nazis as guerilla fighters, and Denial, the 2017 account of Deborah Lipstadt's legal victory against antisemite David Irving starring Rachel Weisz.

Compliance officers working for the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) have assessed all the films recommended and approved their use in an educational setting despite often gruelling emotional themes.

Working alongside the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, for every movie the body has also provided a series of discussion points that will spark discussion.

After watching Defiance, for instance, students might consider the choices made by the Jews who fled to the forest to escape persecution, and how the film challenged their assumptions about the Holocaust.

The other films suggested by the BBFC include Quo Vadis, Aida? about the Bosnian civil war, The Missing Picture, an animated documentary about atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge, and Sometimes in April, which concerns the Rwandan genocide.

David Austin, BBFC chief executive and trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said it remains "as important as ever" to support Holocaust remembrance.

"We appreciate the strong educational value that films can have, and their ability to serve as an excellent springboard for important and sometimes difficult conversations," he said.

"We’re proud to deliver this brand new film resource in partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.”

Joe Miller, head of outreach at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said: “We are delighted to partner with our friends at the British Board of Film Classification to create a new Holocaust Memorial Day film resource.

"This resource will give young adults, students, and others the chance to engage with the Holocaust and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.

"Each film will include discussion points and questions, making the resource ideal for educational use or as part of a Holocaust Memorial Day activity. This initiative aligns with our overarching objective of learning from genocide for a better future.”

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on January 27 every year, commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazi regime and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

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