Tribal conflict

There is a story in the Book of Genesis, rarely examined by modern readers, that is so pertinent to today's headlines that it should be required reading for any journalist reporting on the tribal conflicts that are at the heart of modern warfare. I reexamined the story after watching La Genese, a film from Mali, directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko.

La Genese, which was shown at the recent Denver International Film Festival, is not a traditional "beards and bathrobe" Bible movie, but a brutally frank retelling of portions of Genesis 23-37. Sissoko describes the family and tribal passions created by the conflict between two brothers, Jacob and Esau. Sissoko was inspired to make the film in a contemporary African village to address the continued outbreaks of ethnic and religious violence that cause so much suffering and death in some nations.


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