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Monday, April 28, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Watchers of the Sky

Watchers_Of_The_Sky

Inspired by the book A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power, Watchers of the Sky looks into the history of genocide. The term was coined by Raphael Lemkin, who was seeking to change the laws that allowed sovereign nations to commit “legalized murder.”  The film looks at examples of genocide through the ages, including Rwanda and Darfur, and how the International Criminal Court fights to bring the perpetrators of genocide to justice.

The history of genocide is undoubtedly an interesting subject.  Even though practically everyone condemns the act, it still happens quite often.  One of the major problems is that countries are afraid to act out against genocidal acts, in fear of violent retribution.  However, if nothing is done, certain counties will continue to slaughter minorities like they’re chickens.

Without a doubt, the message of Watchers of the Sky is an important one.  However, the film didn’t have the best execution.  There are only a handful of interviewees in the film, with Samantha Power being the most prominent.  This, along with the two hour length, made the film feel a bit long and monotonous, with much of the running time spent giving a biography of Raphael Lemkin.  In addition, the film featured many on-screen quotes by Lemkin, which was somewhat of a chore to read.  That said, I would still say that Watchers of the Sky is still worth checking out.

7 | FAIR 

Screenings:

  • Tues, April 29, 7:00 PM – Hart House Theatre
  • Wed, April 30, 12:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
  • Sat, May 3, 6:30 PM – Isabel Bader Theatre

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).