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TIFF ’19: “The Cave” takes People’s Choice Documentary Award

As the 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival came to a close on Sunday (Sept. 15), and feature documentary “The Cave”; co-produced by HECAT Studio, Danish Documentaries, and National Geographic; took home the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award.

Shot from 2016 to 2018, The Cave belongs to the top rank of war films. Syrian director Feras Fayyad (Oscar-nominated for Last Men in Aleppo) takes us to a subterranean landscape that feels akin to the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max. With life too dangerous above ground, survivors create a network of secret tunnels under the city of Ghouta, near Damascus, for an underground hospital maintained by women doctors…

In contrast to the many Syrian documentaries made from cellphone footage or shaky cameras, Fayyad takes great care to visualize the landscape and its memorable occupants with artful cinematography. For anyone who feels jaded by Syria coverage, this work stands apart…There are many scenes in The Cave that can break your heart, yet the film leaves us, above all, with a powerful sense of the profound resilience, dedication, and love that endures in the midst of staggering hardship.” - TIFF

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