English and Zaghawan/Spanish/French with English subtitles, 2014, 114 minutes, color, U.S.A.
U. S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Use of Animation and Editing Award: U. S. Documentary
“Love despite difference and, rather, because of difference,” wrote Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew born in 1900, who saw and could not abide the universal human capacity to perpetrate unimaginable harms against “the other.” As a young lawyer galvanized by the extermination of the Armenians, he invented the term “genocide,” which became an indispensable instrument for mobilizing international law to address such crimes, laying the groundwork for the Nuremberg trials and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Watchers of the Sky links Lemkin’s forgotten legacy with four visionary humanitarians: Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.; Luis Moreno Ocampo, ICC chief prosecutor; Benjamin Ferencz, Nuremberg prosecutor; and Emmanuel Uwurukundo, U.N. refugee officer. As all of them struggle to prevent future atrocities, their urgent trajectories intertwine with Lemkin’s.
Aesthetically imaginative and intellectually rigorous, Edet Belzberg’s lyrical film illuminates the power of one word and one man’s determination. At the same time, it reveals how the persistence and magnitude of genocide require a tribe of warriors banding together over generations and continents to build a temple to the law.
Director: Edet Belzberg
Producers: Edet Belzberg, Amelia Green-Dove, Kerry Propper
Editors: Jenny Golden, Karen Sim
Animators: Molly Schwartz, Dana Schechter, Garry Waller, Eyal Ohana
Composer: Claudio Ragazzi
Cinematographers: Sam Cullman, Mai Iskander, Jerry Risius, Nelson Walker