January 22 – Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz

This documentary tells the fascinating story of Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor and lifelong advocate of “law not war.” After witnessing Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation, Ferencz became lead prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen case at Nuremberg, which has been called the biggest murder trial in history. He was 27 years old and it was his first trial. All 22 Nazi officials tried for murdering over a million people were convicted. Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. Prosecuting Evil also poses some tough and incisive questions. Most pointedly: What does the film say about our time?

 
A panel discussion with Profs. Eric L. Muller and James Chappel with follow the screening.

Muller is the Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor at UNC School of Law and a nationally known and much-published expert on the mass removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans in World War II.  He is also Academic Director at the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics, an educational non-profit that uses the complicity of German professionals in the crimes of the Third Reich as a lens through which to examine our own lives and ethical choices as professionals.  He lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Leslie Branden-Muller, a child psychologist.
 

Chappel is the Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History at Duke University. His main interest is in the intellectual history of modern Europe, focusing on themes of religion, welfare, and the family. In addition to academic venues, he has been published in more popular ones like The Nation, Dissent, and The Washington Post. His first book appeared from Harvard University Press in 2018 under the title Catholic Modern: The Challenge of Totalitarianism and the Remaking of the Church. He is at work on a new project on the history of old age, tentatively entitled End of Life: The History and Future of Old Age for a Graying World.

 

March 17 – The Apology 

This documentary follows the personal journeys of three former ‘comfort women’ who were among the 200,000 girls and young women kidnapped and forced into military sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

Some 70 years after their imprisonment in so-called ‘comfort stations,’ the three ‘grandmothers’- Grandma Gil in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Grandma Adela in the Philippines – face their twilight years in fading health. After decades of living in silence and shame about their past, they know that time is running out to give a first-hand account of the truth and ensure that this horrific chapter of history is not forgotten.

Whether they are seeking a formal apology from the Japanese government or summoning the courage to finally share their secret with loved ones, their resolve moves them forward as they seize this last chance to set future generations on a course for reconciliation, healing, and justice.

A panel will follow the documentary.