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The White Helmets

An Oscar-winning spotlight on the Syrian Civil Defense (Netflix)

A member of the Syria Civil Defense in The White Helmets, nominated for Best Documentary Short at the Oscars on February 26.
Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

The Syrian Civil Defense is a group of ordinary men — former builders, tailors, and artisans — who work to extract victims from beneath the rubble in places like Aleppo that have been gravely affected by the Syrian civil war. The group has saved more than 58,000 people since 2013. This 41-minute documentary, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film in 2017, follows the men as they struggle to prevent the loss of life, and lets them tell us why, as one man puts it, “this job is sacred.”

”[Director] Von Einseidel is convinced that his subjects are “true heroes.” Viewers will be convinced of the same.” John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

Release date: September 16, 2016

Streaming on: Netflix

Metacritic score: N/A

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