Last Men in Aleppo (2017)

I don't watch a lot of documentaries and I review even fewer because they usually are hard to sit through and even harder to review. Last Men in Aleppo falls perfectly into this category because it deals with a very important matter and it feels wrong to say negative things about it, but there are negative things to say about it. 

The title is pretty self-explanatory, this is a documentary about the Syrian Civil war. It was written and directed by Feras Fayyad and follows the White Helmets, a volunteer organisation consisting of civilians who put their lives at risk, rushing towards military strikes and attacks in hope of saving lives, and focuses mainly on the lives of three founders of the White Helmets, Khaled Omar Harrah, Subji Alhussen and Mahmoud.

There are people claiming this actually is a terrorist organization but I'm not going to talk about those conspiracy theories. In my opinion, these are brave men, heroes, people doing great things, and Last Men in Aleppo does a good job in highlighting that. 

However, it feels like there's not enough material to keep this going for an hour and forty minutes --it was perfect for a short (Oscar-winner The White Helmets) but it's not enough for a feature-- and the result is a documentary that failed to engage me from start to finish and that doesn't show anything we couldn't watch online already. The editing also feels rushed and could have been handled a little better.

Grasshopper Film
In spite of that, Last Men is Aleppo still is a pretty effective documentary. It's inspiring and quite powerful --not as powerful as it could have been though--, it's harrowing and brutal, and it's beyond heartbreaking especially when it comes to watching infants being pulled from the rubbage, whether they are dead or alive, or the discovery of a living woman only seconds after extracting her baby's corpse. There's no triumph, just tragedy. 

1 comment :

  1. The ending of this really got to me too after spending all that time with them. It's just tragic all around.