‘The White Helmets’ Wins an Oscar

A documentary about Syria’s rescue workers won the short documentary Academy Award at the Oscars on Sunday night, even as one of the film’s cinematographers was blocked from attending the ceremony. “The White Helmets” win brought Syria’s six-year war to the forefront of the awards ceremony, prompting a standing ovation as director Orlando von Einsiedel called on those in attendance to take a stand to help end the war. The Netflix film centers on the Syrian Civil Defense, a group of Syrian rescue workers who pull civilians from the rubble of shelled buildings day in and day out, risking their lives in the process. Several members of the group have been killed trying to save the victims of bombings by Syrian regime forces. Khaled Khatib, a 21-year-old cinematographer and member of the group, was prevented from attending the awards ceremony in unclear circumstances. The Associated Press cited documents from the Department of Homeland Security showing that Khatib had been denied entry into the U.S., though separate reports said the Syrian government canceled his passport.