A small group of volunteer heroes, the White Helmets defy death, dodging bombs and sniper fire, to rescue Syrians from the bombs that fall incessantly on their towns and cities. However, after three years and with no end in sight, even the heroes may need to be saved.
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Though not as in depth as one would think, coming from the director of the excellent "Virunga", The White Helmets is still a sobering watch, showing us a tiny glimpse into an international catastrophe. Brave people, brave crew, disastrous politics.
Please take the three stars and bend them into a question mark. I have no idea what to think of this movie. The conflict is so complicated and there is so much struggle over the narrative that I have seen the White Helmets both celebrated and condemned (sometimes by the same side!). I'm not clear about the larger games being played, and what place this movie has in those games. Will I ever know what exactly this is?
Heartrending. Almost too much to bear as a viewer, so it is confounding as to how one could live it and retain as much hope and bravery as they do. Unimaginable bravery that could not even confound us if not for the parallel bravery and resilience of the filmmakers who document the physical and emotional devastation.
I feel like people must be equating this film with the men it depicts; they are deserving of praise, but it isn't. It takes a highly-charged topic, some powerful footage and dilutes them into a limp, formless and jingoistic puff piece that consistently makes the least complex or compelling choice. What a waste.
These guys are heroes. To do what they do requires a type of love for humanity that conquers any fear of death or terror. You can see that in their testimonies, and I'm glad someone has told their story. Take 40 minutes out of your day to watch this one on Netflix.