News Karnataka
Wednesday, February 01 2023

The White Helmets: A beacon of hope amidst chaos

the white helmets
Photo Credit : Twitter

The Syrian refugee issue has been a topic that is being discussed and debated around the world for years. Innocent lives are still being lost even today. And for what? To pacify human greed? Have you ever tried to imagine what it would be like to be in the middle of gunfire, shelling, bomb explosions, airstrikes, etc.? And when confronted with a terrible situation like this, it’s difficult to avoid considering what you’d do if your country unexpectedly descended into civil war.

Director Orlando von Einsiedel through Netflix’s original foreign-language documentary ‘The White Helmets (2016)’, showcases a civil defence organisation in the Aleppo branch that has assisted in saving Syrian civil war victims. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).

The White Helmets revolves around Khaled Farah, Abu Omar, and Mohammed Farah, three of the group’s members, as they venture out to rescue victims from bomb sites, including Mahmoud the ‘miracle baby.’ Their goal is nothing but to save lives, no matter their caste, creed, religion or political beliefs.

the white helmets

They were the first emergency personnel on the scene of several airstrikes and explosions carried out by ISIS, Syria, and Russia.

However, they rush to the spot, with their lives on the line, to rescue people from burning and collapsed buildings and dig out injured as the dead. The 40-minute documentary thus examines some of the successes and failures of these rescue teams.

It is sad to realise that the White Helmet members witness tragedy daily. Many of these people lack experience yet are prepared to put the lives of others before their own, much like the volunteers we see in our communities. It must be noted that in their rescue operation, over 82,000 men, women and children have been saved so far, while 154 members have died trying to save others.

The Director doesn’t back away from the harsh reality that people have to endure daily. I am surprised by the fact the Director and the team were capturing real-time happenings and rescue operations along with the White Helmets. The visuals are distressing, yet it evokes the question in the mind of viewers, “What has humanity become?!”

the white helmets

A dialogue that strikes my mind is “Life requires sacrifice.” Yes, these men have everything to lose, yet they prioritise humanity over everything and they would happily sacrifice themselves to save a hundred lives.

The documentary deals with a serious subject as it is meant to be. It sheds light on the atrocities and miseries, pain both the White Helmet members and victims go through. The documentary will be helpful to those who might not be as familiar with the current situation in Syria.

The White Helmets is a great tribute to heroes, who epitomise humanity at its best.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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