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Soon seven bad years

Last Men in Aleppo.
War also consists of everyday life, although it must be lived in ruins.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Documentary Award at Sundance Film Festival 2017, Last Men in Aleppo, will receive the European premiere during CPH: DOX in March, where it will be the opening film. The film gives us a close encounter with a group of "The White Helmets" (The White Helmets): Men who are protected by white helmets help dead and living victims, including air strikes in Aleppo. We get to know the work they do as well as their privacy in the period from September 2015 to autumn 2016.

Khaled, Mahmoud and Nagieb drive around Aleppo with anything but perfect gear, or they stare into the sky looking for fighter jets. Last Men in Aleppo deepens our understanding of what war is by contrasting action-packed episodes with moments of everyday life and quiet thoughts. Not to mention thoughts about what matters here and now: Should they stay? Should they go their way? Should they send families away, or have them nearby? Irreversible destruction is also set against moments of reconstruction during the temporary ceasefires; attempts to recreate a tiny fraction of the personal space they once had. The truce breaks also make it possible to hold an anti-Bashar meeting, take a trip to the football field and just stroll around – although tensions and concerns are never far away.

Contrasts. Last Men in Aleppo is the result of a collaboration between Copenhagen-based Larm Film and Aleppo Media Center – the latter is an initiative to cover what is happening in Aleppo, with focus. . .

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willemienwsanders@gmail.com
Sanders is a critic, living in Rotterdam.

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