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The White Helmets (2016)—SyriaThe White Helmets (2016)—Syria

In the last five years, 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war, and millions more displaced.  This 40-minute Netflix Documentary features the volunteer group that works in the areas where Russia and the Assad regime have bombed the country into apocalyptic oblivion.  The White Helmets, or the Syrian Civil Defense, was founded in 2013.  Their 2900 volunteers work in 120 centers across the country as first responders.  The film interviews several of the volunteers who explain their work, and includes horrifying cell phone footage of actual bombings that are followed by their emergency responses.  "Any human being, no matter who they are or which side they are on," explains one White Helmet, "if they need our help, it's our duty to help them.  All lives are precious and valuable."  The White Helmets were featured on the cover of Time Magazine in October 2016.  It's not mentioned in the film, but the White Helmets are funded primarily by western governments and organizations. The White Helmets claim to be an impartial and non-political humanitarian NGO, whereas Assad and Russia accuse them of being pro-rebel.  In Arabic with English sub-titles.

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