Raak mij aan! Touch me!

It’s 2016, and great swaths of eastern Ghouta in Syria lie in ruins. Millions of people have already fled, but the bombardments by government forces continue. 

The area is surrounded, so there’s no escape route for the 400,000 inhabitants. One of the few bright spots in an otherwise utterly bleak situation is the improvised underground hospital where the wounded can get treated. 

Dr Amani is the young pediatrician heading the team of doctors and nurses doing the best they can with limited resources. To make matters worse, she's having to defend herself and her female colleagues against men who believe that women should stick to doing the housework, and that it would be better to have a man at the helm.

While the film does show the effect of the civil war on the population at large, its main focus is on how the hospital staff manages despite the difficult conditions. There’s humor and teasing, but there are also moments of fear, and of despair—are they offering real help, or just a rag to stop the bleeding?

Please note: the IDFA program book states that this film has an introduction. Unfortunately it has been canceled.

Director: Feras Fayyad

Length: 95 min

Language: Arabic and English spoken, English subtitles

IDFA in Groningen

IDFA in Groningen