‘The Broken Promise’ highlights warning signs of genocide

by Anne Kader
11 minutes read

 

 

With insights from genocide survivors and their children, members of Congress, legal scholars, and human rights activists, The Broken Promise,  an independent feature-length documentary, explores re-emergent patterns of genocide and the political and institutional failures that enable perpetrators of crimes against humanity. The film highlights the warning signs of genocide and how ordinary citizens can stand against these atrocities.

 

With insights from genocide survivors and their children, members of Congress, legal scholars, and human rights activists, the film seeks to answer the following questions: Why does genocide keep happening? What makes people dehumanize one another? How do the things we buy enable it?

 

The film premiered in the San Francisco Bay Area just days before the anniversary of Kristallnacht, which signaled the start of the Holocaust. The Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law hosted a screening at Berkeley Law on November 7 at 6 pm PST, which followed the premiere at Smith Rafael Film Center on November 6 (San Rafael, CA). 

 

Genocide of Uyghurs 

 

A central part of the film focuses on the underreported Chinese genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, where officials are employing the most intrusive surveillance state ever and forcing millions into “re-education” camps on a scale the world has not seen since the Holocaust. Mihrigul Tursun, a former Uyghur detainee who immigrated to the United States with her two children in 2018, reveals how she was taken into the custody of Chinese authorities several times, including being imprisoned at one of a network of political re-education camps for Uyghurs. She suffered torture, and one of her sons died during her custody in China in 2015.

 

From the Armenian Genocide to Darfur to China to Ukraine, the message is painfully clear: Genocide is not a once-in-a-generation event that humanity can witness and consign to the history books. The Broken Promise confronts the urgent issues of genocide and the unfulfilled promise to protect human rights and finally ensure that ‘never again’, the promise uttered widely after the Holocaust, is fulfilled.

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