The Cave



Sequoia 1 Fri, Oct 4, 2019 5:15 PM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:96 min.
Director:Feras Fayyad
Producer:Feras Fayyad
Screenwriter:Alisar Hasan
Feras Fayyad
Cinematographer:Mohammad Kheir
Ammar Suleiman
Mohammad Eyad
Editor:Per K. Kirkegaard
Denniz Göl Bertelsen
Print Source:National Geographic
Note Writer:Monica Nolan


Amani, Salim, and Samaher work in an underground hospital called “The Cave” in besieged Al Ghouta. In this haunting film from the Oscar®-nominated director 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 tries 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. This film contains some disturbing images.

Additional Information

Feras Fayyad was born in Syria. He holds a bachelor's degree in audio-visual arts and filmmaking from Paris' International Film and Television School. His film Last Men in Aleppo (2017), co-directed with Steen Johannessen, received numerous accolades, including Oscar® and Film Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Documentary. The Cave (2019) is his latest film.