Watchers of the Sky

“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. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]