“The White Helmets,” a 40-minute documentary, marks first Oscar win for director Orlando von Einsiedel.
The film revolves around the “perilous work of volunteers who brave falling bombs to rescue civilians from the carnage of Syria’s civil war,” the description on its Netflix page says.
A synopsis, published on the Oscars website, reveals that the film is set “in the chaos of war-torn Syria” where “unarmed and neutral civilian volunteers known as ‘the white helmets’ comb through the rubble after bombings to rescue survivors.”
Patrick Henningsen, a geopolitical analyst at 21st Century Wire.com in an earlier interview to RT late last month explained how the footage was obtained.
The “film itself is not a real documentary,” he said. “All of the footage used in the film was provided to the producers by the White Helmets themselves. This film production crew – Netflix productions – did not film any of the so-called rescue scenes.”
“What this film is essentially a PR cushion for a $100-$150 million covert op, which is basically an NGO front funded by USAID, the British Foreign Office, various EU member states, Qatar, and other various and sundry nations, and members of the public, who quite frankly in my opinion and many others, have been duped into donating their money for this rescue group, that is anything but. It essentially functions as a support group alongside Al-Nusra and al-Din al-Zenki and other known terrorist groups operating in Syria. That is a fact that has been proven by a number of eyewitness testimonies.”
The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, are “the largest civil society organization operating in areas outside of government control,” the group’s website proudly reads.
According to the group’s leader, Raed Saleh, those “unarmed and neutral rescue workers have saved more than 78,529 people from the attacks in Syria.”
The unit has also received praise from Amnesty International, describing it as “a group of neutral, unarmed volunteers.”
Although the rescue group largely appears to be in the MSM media’s good books, not everyone looks at the White Helmets’ activities through rose-tinted glasses.
White Helmets financially backed by West – journalist to RT
In December, Eva Bartlett, a Canadian journalist and rights activist who has traveled to Syria several times since the start of the conflict, said that members of the group “purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib [but] …no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them.”
Bartlett noted during her highly emotional speech at the UN that “their video footage actually contains children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say, August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”
The White Helmets operate in Syria’s rebel and Islamist territories and appear to enjoy the support of various western governments.
“They are fantastically brave, these White Helmets. I’m proud to say we’re giving them I think £32 million [$39.78 million] funding as part of a wider £65 million package for non-humanitarian aid,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last year.