3 Generations is a non-profit organization that documents stories of human rights abuses through film. We enable survivors of crimes against humanity to record their experiences as an act of healing, a call to action and to create historical evidence.
We amplify and honor each witness’s voice by creating broad audiences: film festivals, educational outreach, theatrical and community screenings, social media, partnerships, web-channels and more. Our goal is to influence the national dialogue and build momentum for social change.
By sharing these stories broadly, 3 Generations
“I formed 3 Generations for the people of Darfur, for my father and those of his generation, those who were lost in the Holocaust and those who survived and were able to tell their stories.”
Jane Wells, Founder and Director, 3 Generations
Living in Colorado with my husband and young family , I was afforded the luxury of perspective. Far from global conflict I became aware that a genocide was unfolding in Darfur, and I was determined to go there myself to witness what was really happening. Colorado also gifted me the contacts to get there. Through a neighbor I got a visa for Sudan to visit Darfur and later Chad under the auspices of the International Medical Corps. Able to spend weeks at the frontlines, I heard first hand from survivors about what has been called “the first genocide of the 21st century”.
In April 1945 my father, Sidney Bernstein, was with the Allied Forces that liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. As a film advisor to the Ministry of Information, he was responsible for overseeing the film units as they documented the atrocities found there. Back in the UK he was tasked with producing a feature length film, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, about the camps the Allies liberated. My father brought together some of the greatest film-makers, writers and talent of that era to create a permanent reminder of Nazi atrocities for generations to come. In the fall of 1945, however, his Ministry of Information superiors closed down the production and the film was not completed or shown. For forty years he never spoke of what he had seen or the doomed project which was buried in the vaults of the Imperial War Museum in London. In 1984 some of the footage was made available to the public. This was the first time my father (and others who had been at the liberation of the camps) spoke up about the horrors they had witnessed. Already a very old man, my father told me the greatest regret of his life was not completing the atrocity film. The complex story of that film and why it was stifled was not fully told until 2014, when it became the subject of the the award-winning documentary, Night Will Fall, directed by Andre Singer and produced by Sally Angel.
When I returned home from Sudan, I met Brian Steidle, a former marine and photojournalist who had documented the genocide in Darfur. As Brian’s story unfolded, I realized there were clear parallels between Brian’s experiences and those of my father. After coming home to America with proof of genocide in Darfur, the State Department asked Brian to stop showing his pictures. Unlike my father, he was not under military command and decided he would not bury the truth. Brian and his sister, Gretchen Wallace, intended to make a feature documentary about Brian’s irrefutable witness of the genocide in Darfur. Hearing this and remembering my father’s regret, I agreed to help Brian tell the world about Darfur. Producing the award-winning film The Devil Came on Horseback, I realized that I would be correcting an ancestral wrong and carrying forward a family legacy. And so 3 Generations was born.
For nearly a decade 3 Generations has been a safe harbor for survivors of atrocities to tell their stories — brutal, tragic,inspiring, uplifting, in their own words — words that will be honored and preserved for generations to come. 3 Generations is dedicated to creating social justice films and videos as a means to educate, engage, empower and entertain. We believe that the stories we tell will bring change as well as fostering leadership, citizenship and inspiration in adults and youth to make a difference in our society. Our documentaries examine global and domestic atrocities, war crimes, genocide, trafficking, violence, homelessness, the criminal justice system and veterans issues. Our award-winning films have been distributed to libraries, schools, community organizations, television, cable, online streaming and theaters.
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