Behind the headlines

‘The Syrian Patient’ tells the story of Syrians treated in Israeli hospitals, while ‘Line 881’ deals with the refugees taken in by Germany.

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May 30, 2018 14:19
‘The Syrian Patient’ documents the warm bond that develops between Dr. Eyal Sela and Majid, a wounde

‘The Syrian Patient’ documents the warm bond that develops between Dr. Eyal Sela and Majid, a wounded Syrian treated in an Israeli hospital. (photo credit: COURTESY RACHEL SCHWARZ)

SEVERAL RECENT Israeli documentaries offer in-depth perspectives into the lives of people who are often glossed over in the news media. Among them: “The Syrian Patient,” a film about the wounded Syrians being treated in Israeli hospitals and “Line 881,” a look at the wave of refugees absorbed by Germany in recent years.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, more than 5,000 civilians wounded in the fighting have been treated in Israeli hospitals. This is an impressive number, representing an extraordinary humanitarian gesture on the part of one country that remains in a state of war with the other. But like other statistics connected with the Syrian tragedy – more than 11 million people estimated to have been displaced and more than 400,000 killed – the numbers themselves may not have as much of an impact on people as getting to know a few of the affected individuals in an intimate way.

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