• The White Helmets (2016) - Orlando von Einsiedel

    “More than five years after the conflict began in Syria It is estimated that at least 470,000 people have died – a figure that shockingly equates to more than one in every ten Syrians. On the ground in the country, the population are mostly having to do what they can, a situation that has given rise to emergency organization, The White Helmets. They have so far saved more than 82,000 lives … The men forming these squads, who dash from bomb site to bomb site in search of survivors, mostly have no experience and come from professions as diverse as blacksmith and teacher. … director Orlando Von Einsiedel’s  Oscar-winning film immerses us immediately in the chaotic aftermath of a bombing in Aleppo. We see a team rescuing people and recovering bodies from the rubbles as we begin to hear the stories of some of these unsung heroes.” (Amber Wilkinson, EyeforFilm

    “We [Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara] were stunned when we first saw footage of them in action: a grainy YouTube video as they rescued a newborn baby from under three stories of a collapsed building. Much of our work over the past few years has focused on telling the inspiring stories of people who have been willing to risk their own lives for something bigger than themselves. We have wanted to share these tales of bravery not only because they reaffirm our faith in the good of humanity in a world shaded by so much darkness, but also because they inspire us to work harder for what we believe in.” (Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara, Indiewire.com, 2016)

    The [White Helmets] group is now nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and gained further notoriety for rescuing Omran Dagneesh, the Aleppo child who went viral for his empty stare in the aftermath of an airstrike. The message of standout heroes, amid a conflict seemingly devoid of any hope, is starting to spread … The White Helmets are etching their names into history and, thanks to documentaries such as this, will be remembered long after the Syrian conflict has ended. Yet despite the perpetual bombardments and horrific sights amid the rubble, they still have faith that the international community will rally to the aid of the Syrian people and find a solution to the conflict. “That gives me hope about humanity,” says [director] Einsiedel. “And it gives me hope that in the end when Syria finally gets out of the mess that it’s in, there are a good group of guys and heroes that will be there to help rebuild the country.” (Jack Moore, Newsweek, 2016)

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