By Annie Villamarin '20
In addition to giving something up this Lenten season, why not consider watching the following movies with your family and having discussions on pro-life issues? I have pulled together a list of great films that will deepen your thinking on genocide, the death penalty, and bioethics.
Dead Man Walking (1995). Few people have worked as tirelessly to end capital punishment in America than Sister Helen Prejeen of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The film is based on Sister Prejeen’s experiences with a murderer on death row. The movie explores not only the ill effects the death penalty has on the condemned person, but also on all those involved. Susan Sarandon, who played Sister Prejeen, won the Oscar for best actress in a leading role.
Gattaca (1997). This dystopian film explores how genetic engineering can go horribly wrong and create, not monsters, but genetic haves and have-nots. If you don’t have designer genetics, characters find themselves with little to no opportunities for employment or education. Unfortunately, the world of Gattaca may not be too far-fetched, since the world’s first gene-edited baby was reportedly created in China last fall. Watch the movie, get frightened, and then get outraged!
Hotel Rwanda (2004). During a horrific 100 days in 1994, the government of Rwanda encouraged ordinary citizens to kill Tutsis, an ethnic minority in the country. It is estimated the 200,000 people participated in the murders. This genocide was not kept secret and United Nations forces, which were on the ground in Rwanda, did not intervene. Hotel Rwanda tells the story of one brave man’s refusal to ignore the atrocities in his country, leading him to hide thousands of Tutsis in the hotel he manages.