28 January 2014 5:43 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Given a well-deserved editing award at Sundance for juggling a daunting number of principal threads and themes in cogent fashion, Edet Belzberg’s “Watchers of the Sky” casts a wide net over mass ethnic and political exterminations of the last century and beyond. Its framing device is the career of lawyer-turned-human-rights advocate Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term “genocide” and spent most of his life trying to convince the international community to specially prosecute such crimes against humanity; his work is paralleled by that of four modern-day champions of justice in an era when such murderous “cleansings” seem increasingly frequent. Docu should travel widely on the fest circuit and appeal to home-format programmers open to hefty, demanding but highly rewarding work in the political/social-justice realm.

Lemkin was born in what is now Belarus, his Jewish family having survived several pogroms; later he would be unable to convince his parents to flee Nazi-occupied Poland, »

- Dennis Harvey

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