Presentation: Depiction

We began the unit by reading an article that considers the various depictions of genocide in film.

In the article Onstad questions whether horrific acts “lose their power when they become cinematic tropes, reducing horror to a plot point or a hero’s redemption?” (para. __). Could the same argument be made for written texts?

Levi uses techniques that ‘colour’ life in the larger. Do these techniques detract from the power of the events he describes?


Craft a presentation that investigates whether texts detract from horrific acts such as genocide. You will need to refer to one other text that depicts a horrific act and use this as a point of comparison or contrast.


ï    Class discussions where a candidate has been given special responsibilities (advance preparation, particular topics, a short report, a provocative position). The whole class may participate, but only the presenter will be assessed.

ï    The presentation of material lending itself to discussion within the class, such as the offering of two opposing readings of a work (the presenter will take questions from the class).

ï    A comparison of two passages, two characters or two works.

ï   A similar alternative to a ‘bog standard’ presentation.


  1. Collect possible alternative texts. You can do this together as a group. Post them on this document for all to see.
  2. Choose the text to make your comparison.
  3. Re-read the Onstad article on Filming the Unfilmable as this is where we first investigated this idea.
  4. Conduct some wider reading:
    1. Try the search term “desensitize” on Webpath express
    2. An interesting read about an artists investigating desensitization
  5. Decide on your perspective in relation to the question. You will also need to decide on whether both your texts support your perspective ie. No texts don’t take away from the power of the historical event and this is supported by both If This is a Man and <My other text>.
  6. Investigate literary aspects of the texts to demonstrate this. Look for as many examples in the texts as you can so that you can short list your best ones later.
  7. Decide on the format of your presentation.


We will of course be using the Oral Criteria to assess this task. You can find it here.

Image: ‘Pezzi di vita che diventano viaggio +(Far+East+Film+Festival+10+-+2008)

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