Willemien Sanders
Dr. Willemien Sanders is a regular critic at Modern Times Review.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Last Men in Aleppo will have its European premiere at the March opening film of Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX.

Last Men in Aleppo

Feras Fayyad

Syria 2017, 104 minutes

It is an intimate encounter with a group of The White Helmets: men who risk their lives trying to rescue victims – dead or alive – of airstrikes and other attacks on Aleppo from rubble and debris. They often seem to be targets of the strikes themselves. We get to know their work as well as their private lives in the period from September 2015 till the autumn of 2016. Since the outbreak of civilian protests, and the subsequent turn to violence by both the Assad regime and foreign parties, we have seen a number of shorter and longer documentaries about the war. These include Morning Fears, Night Chants, Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait and Return to Homs, winner of the same Sundance award in 2014. They all confront us with the realities of war, destruction and devastation, and their effects on human beings, most notably ordinary citizens. And they are all filmed from within, which firmly removes them from journalism.

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