The Cave

2019 | Documentary | 95 minutes | English and Arabic with English subtitles


The filming of this documentary takes place in the underground tunnels beneath the town of Ghouta, located on the outskirts of Damascus. It has become the last-resort hospital for the children injured and gassed in the Syrian conflict.  The  doctors and nurses, headed by Dr. Amani Ballour, do their best. But the hospital’s supplies and food begin to dwindle. The injuries coming to the hospital increase. There is starvation and surgeries are performed without anesthesia. The situation appears hopeless. But these heroic doctors and nurses are relentless. They feel it’s  their job to keep one more child from dying.   

Major Participants: Dr. Amani Ballour / Dr. Salim Namour / And the many children injured by the bombings and the gas attacks
Why Stream This Film?
Reading about the horrors of war in Syria in the newspapers and seeing snippets of it on the evening news can never genuinely provide a full view of what it’s like.  The Cave will be an eye-opener even to those viewers who feel they’ve seen it all.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 98%
  • Metacritic Score: 84
  • Toronto International Film Festival: Winner, People’s Choice Award for Documentaries
  • The Cave was selected as a New York Times Critic’s Pick

Now streaming on:

Director Feras Fayyad looks to a group of selfless heroes to tell the story of Syria that doesn’t always make international news. Beyond the human need to hear and see these stories, it’s a beautifully shot documentary that’s as stunning as the images are harrowing. In a sea of so much tragedy, it’s a marvel to stop and consider each individual’s experience fighting the tide.
Monica Castillo

Entering the theater at a timely moment, THE CAVE, is a frightening immersion in life under siege in Syria that, as difficult as  it often is to watch, can’t come close to replicating how harrowing it must have been. There is no endgame here; the doctors can only do their best as the situation grows worse.
Ben Kenigsberg

The New York Times

This powerful, immensely moving documentary follows the courageous medical staff who must treat injured children as bombs fall around them. Feras Fayyad, a young Syrian documentary-maker who was himself imprisoned and tortured by Bashar al-Assad’s regime, returns with a chilling, shaming film made over two years inside a Syrian hospital in Ghouta. It was the city besieged by the Syrian government for five years. To say THE CAVE would break anyone’s heart feels flimsy. Like Dr. Ballour, it has a purpose: to focus the world’s attention on the suffering of the Syrian people.
Cath Clarke

The Guardian

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