The White Helmets (2016)
Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel
An intimate look at the men who work to save lives in the aftermath of the airstrikes throughout Syria.
This documentary was directed by Orlando von Einsiedel (Virunga), and was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject. It focuses on one of many teams of men working throughout Syria to pull people from the rubble left after the bombs have fallen.
This documentary makes a great decision staying out of the politics behind the situation. While there are lots of opinions on what is happening in Syria, this film doesn’t rely on them. Instead, this documentary operates within the lives of average people dealing with the reality of the moment. This leaves time for some honest emotional talk from the subjects. Additionally, the movie shows the efforts these men have made to be better trained and equipped.
This film makes some odd choices in editing, leaving some important aspects feeling glossed over. Unfortunately this leaves the documentary feeling a bit reactionary, with less substance than it deserved. The overall impact of this film is questionable despite what appears to be a genuine intent of the filmmaker to bring their plight to life. While some people may find this informative, this isn’t one to rush out and see. I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.