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Anna Neistat (right), an investigator for Human Rights Watch, wears a head covering to blend in during a field trip to Syria, in a scene from the documentary "E-Team." Courtesy Sundance Institute
Sundance review: ‘E-Team’


U.S. Documentary

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**** (four stars)

If the astonishing, moving "E-Team" weren’t a documentary, you might think the story of globe-hopping human-rights observers was the basis for Tom Cruise’s next action franchise. Directors Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman (the latter co-directed the Oscar-winning 2004 Sundance hit "Born Into Brothels") follow the work of Human Rights Watch’s emergency team -- or E-Team -- as they visit such war-torn countries as Libya and Syria, collecting evidence of massacres, bombings, torture and other human-rights violations. The filmmakers follow the team members in the field, and at home to illuminate what drives them to expose the worst of humanity. The movie crackles with immediacy and empathy as it shows the hard but necessary work of these human-rights heroes.

-- Sean P. Means

"E-Team" screens again in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: Thursday at 9:45 p.m. at the Broadway Centre Cinema 3, Salt Lake City; and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Prospector Square Theatre, Park City.

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