The Cave

Film - Feature | October 11 | 3 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Amani, Salim, and Samaher work in an underground hospital called “The Cave” in besieged Al Ghouta, Syria. In this haunting film from the Oscar-nominated team behind Last Men in Aleppo, the camera is a mute witness to their daily work treating victims of Syria’s civil war. Through the lens of director Feras Fayyad, the smoke-filled city suggests dystopian sci-fi, its inhabitants living in belowground tunnels. In one surreal scene, children frolic in a subterranean playground while bombs drop overhead. Hospital staff try to keep a grasp on ordinary life, even as it crumbles around them; Salim plays classical music while he operates, Amani’s friends throw her a surprise birthday party, and Samaher complains cheerfully about cooking rice for a hundred. But the daily struggle against death is always present, particularly for Amani, an aspiring pediatrician who stayed behind during the region’s mass exodus to manage the hospital. “Is God watching?” Amani asks as she treats patients. The film ensures that someone will.

Please note: this film contains some disturbing images.

 CA, afox@berkeley.edu, 5106420365