50 Feet from Syria ★★★

Hisham Bismar is an American orthopedic surgeon. His Syrian heritage called him to the Turkey-Syria border to serve as a doctor treating victims of the civil war uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Assad's government used terror tactics on civilians, including many maimed children...dropping barrel bombs and sarin gas on the populace (this was before the advent of ISIS, which apparently doesn't play a part in the current documentary.) Dr. Bismar was a true hero, just about risking his life to bring medical care to the injured Syrians who managed to cross the border into Turkey, and who were often interviewed disguised, since their mere presence in this film could lead to repercussions against their families by the Syrian government. The film is an intimate portrait of the man and his difficult job, sometimes hard to watch among the carnage. As a documentary short it is timely and informative; however I might have wished for a treatment of the Syrian conflicts that was more broadly based to give me a better understanding of what was happening in the region to cause such turmoil along with the current refugee problems.