Last Men in Aleppo Producer and Subject Blocked From Attending Oscars

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Photo: Grasshopper Film

The director and subject of The Last Men in Aleppo, the documentary about a volunteer medical relief unit in Syria called the White Helmets, will not attend the Oscar ceremony next month. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Syrian government refused to expedite the visa process that would allow Kareem Abeed and White Helmets founder Mahmoud Al-Hattar, the documentary’s producer and subject, to travel to Hollywood. “Kareem, my producer and fellow nominee, cannot come to the U.S. because of the Trump travel ban,” director Feras Fayyad told THR. “Barring a miracle, he will not be at the Oscars with me. We are artists and we just want to share our stories and nothing more. It’s very sad he won’t have an opportunity to share his.”

The Last Men in Aleppo is the first movie produced and directed by Syrians to be recognized by the Academy. “I want to be on the Oscar stage to say, ‘It’s time to end this war and to stop those who use their power to destroy us,’ Al-Hattar told THR. He said he would use his speech to condemn Russia, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and “everyone who represents the authorities and supplies weapons to suppress the people of Syria.”

Last Men in Aleppo Team Blocked From Attending Oscars