“To save a life is to save all of humanity.”

 

If you’ve had a tough week, a hardcore documentary on the situation in Syria might sound like the last thing you want to sit down and watch. But trust me, this film is special, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a documentary short about the apolitical, non-partisan, voluntary Syrian humanitarian group that puts the idea of a ‘tough week’ into sobering context. And it’s the most inspiring thing I’ve seen this year by a country mile. In the midst of a seemingly never-ending shitstorm of civil war and state-sponsored terrorism, there are over 200 bombs dropped every day. These decorators, taxi drivers, bakers, shopkeepers, painters, carpenters, students, housewives and so on put on helmets, pick up stretchers and rush to the sites of the bombings to help/rescue people. They’ve saved over 60,000 people so far and at least 141 White Helmets have been killed during rescue missions. When the legendary British MP Jo Cox nominated them for the Nobel Peace Prize, shortly before she was killed by an attacker in 2016, she wrote:

“When the bombs rain down, the Syrian Civil Defense (their official name) rush in. In the most dangerous place on earth these unarmed volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need regardless of religion or politics.”

The film won an Oscar last year, it has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s only 41 minutes long. It really saddened me but it also made me feel angry, moved and, most of all, extremely lucky to live a life where the worst things that tend to happen are that concepts get rejected, briefs get changed and headlines messed with. Watch it and be inspired by the bravery and humanity of these remarkable people.

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About antmelder
Creative Partner at DDB Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

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