You can't turn on the news without more heartbreaking images from the ongoing conflict in Syria. And while our President continues to pretend he gave a crap about the many victims enduring the civil war, the media and now Hollywood are out there making sure the world is aware of everything going on. And part of that is the documentary Last Men in Aleppo, which isn't about Gary Johnson not knowing what the heck an "Aleppo" is. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year, and follows the rescue team known as the White Helmets, who routinely endure the dangers of war to save others.
Here is a synopsis for the film co-directed by Firas Fayyad and Steen Johannessen:
Nowhere is the human toll of Syria’s ongoing civil war more brutally manifest than in the lives of Aleppo’s “White Helmets”—first responders to the devastating bombing and terrorist attacks that have pushed this city to the brink of collapse. Volunteers Khaled, Mahmoud, and Subhi rush toward bomb sites while others run away. They search through collapsed buildings for the living and dead. Contending with fatigue, dwindling ranks, and concerns for their families’ safety, they must decide whether to stay or to flee a city in ruins.
An unforgettable portrait of reluctant heroes, Last Men in Aleppo employs a strict vérité approach but unfolds like a classical tragedy. Directed by Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad in collaboration with the Aleppo Media Center, it’s a patchwork of resonant moments—some horrifying (pulling lifeless infants from the rubble), others improbably hopeful (playing a makeshift soccer game, building a fishpond, driving kids to a playground during a ceasefire). Together they are a testament to mankind’s capacity for unspeakable atrocity and an ode to courage and compassion.
Last Men in Aleppo opens in NY on May 3rd and Los Angeles on May 18th before expanding later. The film is actually playing as part of FilmFest DC which is kicking off here tonight. If you're interested in checking it out, you can purchase tickets here.