53 min, 2014, Documentary
How do societies ravaged by genocide begin to heal? Can a person be forced to reconcile with those who killed her or his loved ones? In the 53-minute documentary film Coexist, Rwanda’s unprecedented social experiment in government-mandated reconciliation is revealed for the first time through the eyes of a diverse range of survivors: victims, perpetrators, and those who bore witness to the 1994 genocide. What they share is breathtaking, heartbreaking, and inspired. Viewers are gripped and left brimming with questions.
Director Adam Mazo
Producers Adam Mazo, Robert Koenig, Suzanne Summerlin Tzuanos
Music Adam Payne
Director of Photography Scott Ippolito
Editor Adam Mazo
Learning Director Mishy Lesser, Ed.D.
TEACHING & LEARNING
Coexist is the first piece making up the foundation of the Upstander Project’s outreach and educational activities. More than 3,500 educators across the country use Coexist to teach middle and high school students about genocide, bystanding, othering, and upstanding.
The Upstander Project is partnering with the Dodd Center at the University of Connecticut to hold the Upstander Academy, an annual five-day summer intensive for teachers. Upstander Project filmmakers and team are available for speaking engagements and film screenings. An educational license for the film can be purchased by your school or university library.
The Coexist Teacher’s Guide is organized in two parts: (1) Colonialism, Genocide, and Rwanda’s Path to Healing and (2) Coexist for Social Emotional Learning. A scene-by-scene synopsis helps teachers cue up the film to examine specific topics and themes: pre-genocide Rwandan history, forced reconciliation, personal healing, forgiveness, betrayal, and interpersonal reconciliation. A six-page historical overview, four-page historical timeline, and extensive resource section (including an annotated bibliography) give teachers a variety of materials for introducing their students to pre- and post-genocide Rwanda.