Watchers of the Sky

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This morning I re-watched a movie that was screened by my friend Kathy during the weekly Movie of Honor; a ritual I go to as often as I can. It’s a regular Saturday night gathering where we screen films that expose human nobility. They are films with a purpose, and that purpose is to tell a story that moves life forward. It is one of my favorite weekly events.

This Saturday we watched a documentary called “Watchers of the Sky”. It’s about genocide and the International Criminal Court. It follows the story of Raphael Lemkin, Luis-Moreno Ocampo, Samantha Power, Emmanuel Uwurukundo and Benjamin Ferencz: all leaders in the fight for human rights against genocide.

The film is profound. It’s intensely moving and clear in the way it exposes the lack of focus on the section of law called “Crimes Against Humanity”. The International Criminal Court (ICC) exists to address such crimes and continues to fight an uphill battle.

I was struck by several things in the movie.

The tenacity and passion of all the leaders profiled.

The beauty and artistry in the way the stories were woven together by watercolor paintings.

And finally, the devastation of what we have done and are continuing to do to one another.

Images of bodies piled on top of each other like pieces of garbage. I kept thinking to myself, “These are people. How is that happening? How does this keep happening? These are people.”

I am disturbed, and I am glad for that. I want to be more and more disturbed every day so this never becomes, “just something that happens”. It doesn’t take long to get used to something that was at one time abhorrent. Apathy is the latest narcotic.

I never want to give in to apathy. I always want to feel disturbed and inspired and moved and terrified and hopeful.

Don’t miss this movie. It’s that good.



  • Bazinga

    Is it like a horror movie or about war?

  • Robin Young

    Hi Allison,

    Thank you for highlighting not only this documentary film but it’s disturbing and important subject matter.
    I shall definitely read about this subject and persons mentioned to try and gain a better understanding of this apparent under reported issue.

    I was not aware of this atrocity before reading your blog, probably in part due to other issues taking preference by Media outlets including TV newsnetworks and newspapers and even more so my own laziness in properly researching and searching for accurately and impartial news stories.

    It seems frustratingly ever more difficult to read factual articles than ones merely giving opinions on most subjects, or that I myself need to learn to question and make my own judgements on articles than naively accept then as fact.

    Thank you so much yet again.


  • Bazinga

    Coolio I will try to watch the movie is it on Netflix

  • Susan Wilson

    Is this only on Netflix? I haven’t heard of this one, but it does look very interesting. I will check with my local library. Thanks Allison.

  • Nivaldo Francisco Dos Santos

    Excellent. I will try watch it. Thank you so much

  • Beth

    I remember an old episode of Buffy where a scene showed a poster on a classroom wall which read “Apathy on the rise. No one cares.” From the genius mind of Joss Whedon and now permanently stuck in my head because of how incredibly truthful it is. I’m noticing more and more that news is scaled to the negative. Always someone died, went missing, was shot, stabbed, murdered, raped or some other horrible situation. The more we hear about these things, the more desensitized we become, the easier it is to care less and less or not at all. Why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of an individual? I have discussed this with a few people recently. An idea that’s been raised is that it might be more difficult to imagine the pain of thousands of people being violently murdered than to imagine the pain of just one. Perhaps that makes us less emotionally attached to the notion of thousands. Food for thought. Thanks for the film promotion. I’ll be interested to see it.

  • Edward Bishop Ginn

    The problem with the media Beth is unfortunately simple enough, nothing sells news like bad news be it on radio tv paper or even online for some macabre reason people are fascinated with these kinds of stories. i would agree with being desensitized to the horrors of the world myself, but i recently traveled to Cambodia where I had the sobering time of visiting the killing fields and s21 prison that the regime used during its time in power. I have never been so touched by a place of horror before, where people spent their last days, where they where raped and tortured then beaten to death i could barely look at some of the graves in the fields. the reason I mention this is the fact that there were tourists running around this place without a care in the world taking pictures and selfies and what not, i honestly could not believe them doing that but it ties in with what i said above humans are generally interested in the macabre as long as it can be viewed at a distance or through a camera.

    when you said “it might be more difficult to imagine the pain of thousands of people being violently murdered than to imagine the pain of just one” im not sure I totally agree, having been to a place where over 17000 people lost their lives in the most brutal way possible I thought I could imagine their pain every single one of them and even now a couple of months after visiting I still somewhat feel that way.

  • J. Brundige

    “What’s your reason for existence? Do you believe in anything? Or does your lifestyle contradict the words you write and the songs you sing?”