- Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide
Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide


“First Kill” Film Response #1

By mreidy on January 30, 2013

I thought that the film “First Kill” was very interesting and it constantly had me thinking about what we as humans are capable of. I think that was the main point of the film, to point out that humans are capable of much more than they may have once thought. One question I took from this film was how do we know if we’re capable of killing another human being unless we are put into a kill or be killed situation? Humans have an instinct to survive, so when it comes down to you and someone else, people may be surprised to see what they’re capable of. What surprised me from the film was the lack of emotion from the war veterans. It seems like they treated the Vietnam War like a video game and whoever killed the most people wins. The one veteran described how he killed 36 people and that he cut of their ears so he could keep track of his body count. This is very cruel and unusual but this man didn’t know anything apart from killing other people. I’m not justifying what he did because I find it to be extremely disturbing, but I think the film included this Veteran’s story because they wanted to make the viewer think about what we as humans are capable of and how do we know what we’re capable of.

1 Comment

  • Professor Thomson said:

    I had the same questions: why keep the 36 ears as a form of body count? Maybe he did so to preserve his humanity, to remind himself of his gruesome task? And on the emotional distance of veterans, I wondered if it was unprocessed trauma that resulted in some form of disconnect to protect individuals who killed with impunity to live in American society (with its lack of societal concern, broadly speaking, for its soldiers). What do you think?

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