THE Canadian Museum for Human Rights is commissioning a film about the Ukrainian genocide of the early 1930s.
The mini-documentary will focus on the silence and secrecy surrounding the Holodomor, a man-made famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933.
While scholars disagree on the total number of lives lost in the famine-genocide, research suggests 1.8 million to 7.5 million people were deliberately starved to death during the period of Soviet industrialization.
"The human rights lessons of the Holodomor will be a valuable teaching tool throughout the museum when it opens in 2014," said Stuart Murray, president and CEO of the CMHR.
"Our new film will emphasize the power of publicly acknowledging mass atrocities, and the danger of denying them."
The film, which will be one of the first commissioned by the museum, will be produced with assistance from Ukraine's national Holodomor memorial museum.
Murray said the film will be one of at least seven exhibits at the new museum that include Ukrainian content.
The others include:
- A gallery that includes the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians during the First World War;
- An interactive study table containing primary-source evidence about the Holodomor in Ukraine, including its historical context, the violation itself, efforts to deny it and the subsequent struggle for justice, which continues today;
- An exhibit exploring the struggle by the Ukrainian-Canadian community that led to Canadian parliamentary recognition of five genocides;
- An exhibit featuring first-hand testimony from individuals affected by human rights violations, including the Holodomor, with a special focus on Canadian Holodomor survivors;
- A gallery devoted to international human rights law will include an examination of the influence of the Holodomor in the development of the concept of genocide;
- An interactive exhibit exploring Raphael Lemkin's analysis of the "techniques" of genocide the Stalinist regime used.