Red Lines (Andrea Kalin, Oliver Lukacs, 2014) – In the fight to bring democracy and peace to war torn Syria, two activists from vastly different backgrounds have teamed up to amass a greater network of contacts and connections on the ground than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Razan Shalab al-Sham is a former socialite from old money using her connections and influence to do good. Mouaz Moustafa was raised dirt poor on the streets of Damascus before eventually becoming a Capitol Hill insider and lobbyist. Together, they make a formidable duo capable of smuggling in necessary aide to the people of a country the west is reluctant to help.
Directors Andrea Kalin and Oliver Lukacs get unprecedented access and often dangerous to get footage to depict the harrowing pressure cooker environment into which Razan and Mouaz have willingly placed themselves. From having to smuggle in an entire mobile hospital, meetings with sometimes shady revolutionary leaders, and having to defend their actions to sometimes willfully ignorant western journalists, their job is an often thankless one that gets harder by the day.
There’s an undeniable and well crafted intensity to Red Lines. Every moment of Razan and Mouaz’s work rightfully feels like a race against time, and their disappointments are all the more crushing in light of their tireless work. It’s a job where they have to willingly ask people to place themselves in situations where they will more than likely be killed and a great film about the effects those orders have on the people giving them.
Following its debut at Hot Docs earlier this year, Red Lines is now available on VOD. (Andrew Parker)