National Geographic Documentary Films is set to release The Cave, a documentary feature from Academy Award-nominated director Feras Fayyad (Last Man in Aleppo) about a female-led secret underground hospital in Syria.
The film centers on Dr. Amani, who had to cut short her studies and training to become a pediatrician due to the Syrian War, as she leads a team of civilians and medical professionals in the hidden hospital. Risking their lives to provide medical care to the local population of Al Ghouta, Dr. Amani’s team offered what aid their limited supplies allowed from 2012 to 2018. The Cave, produced by Danish Documentary Films’ Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjær, is slated for a fall 2019 release.
Fayyad said: “While I was detained by the Syrian regime for a critical film I made, I witnessed the suppression and torturing of women, an inhuman shameless pride of cruelty, in prison. Not only because they were prisoners but because they were women. I also observed one of the most atrocious war crimes in modern history when the Syrian regime used chemical weapons to attack Al Ghouta in 2013. These experiences were shockingly frightening and unforgettable, but even worse, the rest of the world looked on silently. I knew I had to challenge the inaction and I felt morally responsible to expose the effects of the war crimes. My vision for The Cave was to paint a human picture of the Syrian War through the eyes of these unsuspecting female heroes, and for the film to be a global call to action for response to this humanitarian crisis.”
Dr. Amani said: “This is an important story for women today and for the coming generations. It is about women who want independence and change in life. It is my hope that the more people see it, the closer we are to ending the war and achieving justice. Something has to change.”
Barfod and Dyekjær commented: “National Geographic Documentary Films, a brand with such a pristine reputation for powerful storytelling, has inspired us, and we are thrilled to be working together. With their support, we too hope to bring as much attention as possible to the crisis in Syria and shed a light on the gender inequality in the region through Dr. Amani’s story.”
National Geographic Documentary Films’ Carolyn Bernstein added: “Dr. Amani is a true hero. We are honored to share her story with the world and to ensure that her team’s unwavering dedication and commitment in the most horrendous of circumstances is witnessed by the largest global audience possible.”