Syrian Heroes From White Helmets Documentary Won’t Be Able to Attend Oscars After Trump’s Muslim Ban

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Photo: Netlix/IMDB

After President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday to ban refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations, many families were left stranded over the weekend; but the ban affects even those with friends in high places. In addition to celebrated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who is nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, not attending the Academy Awards (even if an exception were to be extended to him, he will not go out of condemnation for “unjust conditions” placed on the affected countries), the heroic Syrian rescuers from the nominated documentary short The White Helmets will also not able to attend. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmakers were planning on bringing two of the subjects to the ceremony: the leader of the “white helmets,” a nickname given to the Syria Civil Defense, a group of rescuers who risked their lives to save people, including many children, trapped in buildings during the bombings of the Syrian Civil War; and the Syrian cinematographer who put his life in jeopardy following the men into targeted buildings. Producer Joanna Natasegara said in a statement: “They’ve been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — these people are the bravest humanitarians on the planet, and the idea that they could not be able to come with us and enjoy that success is just abhorrent.”

White Helmets: Syrian Heroes Won’t Be at Oscars