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A MISSION FOR JUSTICE IN THE FACE OF GENOCIDE


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#1 Yervant1

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 11:01 AM

A MISSION FOR JUSTICE IN THE FACE OF GENOCIDE

New York Times
Oct 16 2014

'Watchers of the Sky,' on Raphael Lemkin's Work

By NICOLAS RAPOLD

WATCHERS OF THE SKY
Opens on Friday
Directed by Edet Belzberg
2 hours; not rated

The human-rights pioneer Raphael Lemkin once wrote an especially dire
note to self: "Do not cease to exist." They were the words of a man
consumed by his mission to secure legislation against genocide, to the
detriment of his health, as mentioned in Edet Belzberg's "Watchers
of the Sky." The story of Lemkin -- an indefatigable petitioner of
the United Nations, driven by the Armenian massacres and his own
family's slaughter in World War II -- is the spine of this sprawling,
big-hearted examination of genocide.

Ms. Belzberg shifts among Lemkin's lamentable saga and other agents
of justice: Samantha Power, the United States ambassador whose book "A
Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" inspires the film;
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the first chief prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court, assembling a case against Darfur's leader; Emmanuel
Uwurukundo, a Rwandan survivor who runs refugee camps in Chad; and
Benjamin Ferencz, a nonagenarian Nuremberg trials prosecutor.

That a case against genocide needed to be made may surprise those of
us not versed in the vagaries of international law, a morass that Ms.

Belzberg helps express visually through screens filled with Lemkin's
laborious handwriting. Most ambitiously, she conveys the multiple
fronts and time frames for combating genocide, connecting, for
example, the shame of the Srebrenica massacre, the Darfur crisis and
the diplomatic loose ends Lemkin couldn't resolve. Lemkin himself
died poor and isolated, which could do with more explanation here.

"Watchers of the Sky" is a film that can dash hopes about humanity but
also raise them in depicting the stories of these tireless defenders.

http://www.nytimes.c...-work.html?_r=0

 





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