Tuesday, November 21, 2017 08:55:59 PM

REVIEW: “White Helmets” Documentary For Netflix Is Moving, Misses Turkey’s Role, Qs of Yemen, Lanka, Gaza

By InnerCity Press - Sat Sep 03, 9:37 pm

By Matthew Russell Lee, Review

UNITED NATIONS, August 30 — The “White Helmets” documentary slated to air on Netflix on September 16 starts with dramatic footage of airstrikes and searching through buildings, saving a week-old baby from a collapsed wall – then settles into a training camp in Turkey.

  The director and producer, Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara, collaborated in 2014′s Virunga, about gorillas in the Congo. This time for Netflix they wade into the Syrian conflict, with amazing footage but, at least for some viewers, a lack of analysis.

   Turkey, for example, is portrayed as a helpful haven across the border. Now Turkey has entered Syria to fight not ISIS but the Kurds. Could these nuances not be included in a 40-minute documentary?

   In terms of the politics of Netflix, one wonders if a similar-length documentary for example about Gaza, or more to this point Sri Lanka, would be aired. There were airstrikes on civilians in Sri Lanka; Channel 4 aired Callum Macrae’s “No Fire Zone.” But would a paean to a Tamil Tiger medical teams be screened on Netflix?

  In “White Helmets,” the protagonists give heartfelt testimony looking straight into the camera….

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