Presented by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts and Allan Hancock Film & Video Program
Winner of the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and a 2018 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary, Syrian filmmaker Firas Fayyad’s breathtaking work is a searing example of boots on-the-ground reportage. His film follows the efforts of the internationally recognized White Helmets, an organization consisting of ordinary citizens who are the first to rush towards military strikes and attacks in the hope of saving lives. Incorporating moments of both heart-pounding suspense and improbable beauty, the documentary draws us into the lives of three of its founders — Khaled, Subhi, and Mahmoud — as they grapple with the chaos around them and struggle with an ever-present dilemma: do they flee, or stay and fight for their country? 104 min. Syria.
In Attendance: Firas Fayyad is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed the earlier films “Behind the White Color” and “My Escape.” He was jailed and tortured by Bashar Assad’s regime because of his controversial filmmaking. He has received recognition for his work about Syrian issues and the political transformation in the Arab world, and is now the first Syrian filmmaker to have a film nominated for an Academy Award. He now lives in exile in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A portion of the proceeds of this special event will benefit the White Helmets.