Inside Al Jadid - Film Reviews
A Syrian Doctor Returns, Just ’50 Feet’ From Home!
Winner of the Jury Award and Audience Award, director Skye Fitzgerald has introduced his most recent documentary, “50 Feet from Syria” (Cinema Guild, 2015), which offers an intimate look into the gruesome brutality of the Syrian Civil War, which started in March of 2011 and still ravages the country to this day. The documentary follows the American-Syrian orthopedic surgeon Hisham Bismar, who, after watching footage of Syrian casualties, decides to return to Syria, after leaving it 30 years earlier. Inspired, Bismar brings a suitcase full of donated metal bone implants and journeys to a Turkish hospital on the Syrian border. There, he reveals the horrors inflicted on innocents as he tends to an overwhelming number of patients, from children to adults. While some might expect the majority of the graphic scenes to be centered on doctor’s medical procedures, instead, Bismar pans the camera on those with traumatic or physical injuries, showing his audience that the true terrors lie in what the victims must face on a daily basis. However, despite its dark tones and horrific images, the film manages to convey an underlying symbol of hope in the form of a man volunteering to transport the injured across the border to a hospital. Both a cinematographer and a producer, Sky Fitzgerald has a body of work that includes other documentaries such as “Finding Face” and “Bombhunters.” A review of his documentary, “50 Feet from Syria,” by Lynne Rogers is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming Al Jadid Magazine, Vol. 20, No. 71, 2016.
(Photograph Courtesy of Cinema Guild)