The documentary film, “The Children of Beslan,” gives a first-hand account by some of the children who survived the terrorist siege of their school in Beslan, Russia. On September 1, 2004 terrorist took over School No. 1 in the town of Beslan with demands that Russian forces leave Chechnya. The terrorist held over one thousand adults and children hostage for three days. The surviving children explain how their lives were forever changed by this tragic chain of events. The three day siege ended in a violent clash between the rebel extremists and Russian Military Forces which left one hundred seventy-one children and more than two hundred adults dead. In my opinion, this documentary film is a very good depiction of how terrorist use soft targets along with propaganda and violence to create an atmosphere of fear in an attempt to gain power and political control.
On September 1, 2004 in the Russian town of Beslan, school children and their parents were arriving at School No. 1 for the traditional first day of school. The children and their parents appeared to be happy about returning to the first day of school. Shortly before the start of the school day, heavily armed rebel extremists stormed the school’s courtyard and began firing their weapons into the air. In my opinion the terrorist choose a soft target such as the school because they felt that the possibility of resistance would be low and by taking school children hostage would be a way to gain immediate attention from the world.
The author believes the surviving children’s vivid account of the series of events that took place during the siege gave clear insight into the emotional and physical stresses they suffered. The children explained how they felt a wide range of emotions during the onset of the siege. One child explains how he felt the terrorist took over the school as punishment for the sins of the Beslan people. He quickly disputes that thought by saying, “What sins could a 2 or 3 year old have committed.” It is very apparent that this child like many others who endured the violent siege attempted to find some sense of reasoning as to why this was happening to them. The emotional toll that the children suffered was extreme. One child believed that there was no God based on what was happening to them. The innocence and wide range of imagination in children was made clear during this ordeal. Some of the children believed that the fictional character Harry Potter would magically appear and save them by using his invisible cloak to help them escape. One child felt that the only way...