Raphael Lemkin's name and life are not that well-known to many of us Americans. Prior to watching this documentary about the man and his work, I happened to read an article about all this that appeared in an issue of last year's New Republic. It whetted my appetite for more, some of which this new film by Edet Belzberg provides. WATCHERS OF THE SKY (the film's title does not come clear until almost the conclusion) is one of the most dense documentaries in terms of information, ideas, timelines, people and places that I've have seen of late. The amount of notes I scribbled as the film was unfolding are more than I have taken while watching anything else in the past year.
Samantha Power, below, whose reporting on the genocide by the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia brings back all the anger, force, grief and horror of that ghastly period. Ms Power is now the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, a place where she can use her skills toward further curbing genocide. (The movie was inspired by Power's prize-winning book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.)
Luis Moreno-Ocampo (below), Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), whom we've seen in other documentaries, here explains his work and the importance of it in helping prevent more genocide, while Emmanuel Uwurukundo, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide who lost his entire family talks about the need for hands-on work with survivors in order to change attitudes.
Jenny Golden and Karen Sim), it manages to unite all this into a cogent and compelling whole. Watchers of the Sky, via Music Box Films and running two full hours, opens tomorrow -- Friday, October 17 -- in New York City (Lincoln Plaza Cinema), Los Angeles (Laemmle's Royal and Town Center 5) and Orange Country (Edward's Westpark 8). In the weeks to come it will hit another half-dozen cities and theaters. Click here and then click on THEATERS to see all currently scheduled playdates.