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Mar 01 2018

The White Helmets

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For my Blog Post, I decided to watch the movie The White Helmets by British film director Orlando von Einsiedel. The short documentary follows around the daily operations of a group of volunteer rescue workers known as the Syrian Civil Defense, or The White Helmets. These men are the first responders to be on the scene when bombings or mortars occur. These people left their everyday jobs like being a blacksmith or tailor to take on a volunteer job to run into areas that could be bombed to save civilians. The documentary takes place in Aleppo, a major city in Syria. In these scenes, they are mostly rescuing people. They also show scenes in Turkey where the volunteers go through a month-long training. Also, until fairly recently the White Helmets was made up of all men, until two women’s teams were made in October 2014. 140 women were trained in rescue work, medical care, and light search. They can also respond to barrel bombs and missile strikes and they also dig for survivors in rubble with tools and their bare hands. One controversial issue is that people in Syria’s most conservative communities didn’t believe that the male volunteers should rescue women and girls since they added these two teams now thousands of women and girls can be saved instead of being left to suffer. Although this new addition of women into the organization is great, neither of the women’s groups are shown in this film.