Take a first look at footage from The Last Hope. This feature length documentary follows Italian NGO Emergency across the world on their mission to provide free medical assistance to the victims of war. For many people who have lost their homes, lives, family and friends to war, Emergency is their last hope.
Dover Street Entertainment’s feature length documentary The Last Hope wrapped up a successful second shoot in Sicily and off the coast of Libya this week. Graeme Alistair Scott was on location with multiple Oscar and Emmy winning Cinematographer Buddy Squires along with award winning sound man David Hocs.
The team followed the committed staff of Italian NGO Emergency on board MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) search and rescue ship Topaz Responder in the Mediterranean, travelling to the Dead Zone, an area 12 miles off the coast of Libya, where migrants and refugees from war torn countries in the Middle East and Africa are being smuggled in unseaworthy wooden boats and large rubber dingis to Europe in the hope of a better future.
During an emotional, heartbreaking, yet ultimately inspiring shoot the team filmed the doctors, nurses and logisticians of Emergency, hearing their experiences dealing with the migrant crisis. We discovered stories and events that define humanity with a backdrop of incredible situations that not only offer hope, but deliver on the commitment by Emergency to save lives and provide the human right to high quality healthcare, focussing on those that need it most, the victims of war and poverty.
In May 2016, The Last Hope team visited Sulaymaniyah in Iraq. Whilst there, they met with the Emergency teams working in the Arbat IDP and refugee camps, the Ashti IDP camp and the Rehabilitation and Social Integration Centre.
Our award winning cinematographer and director Buddy Squires teamed up with esteemed sound mixer David Hocs, and together they managed to capture the chaotic world of the the Emergency clinics against the quiet backdrop of the Kurdish mountains.
While in the camps, the team interviewed members of staff who’s work is paramount to the survival of the IDPs and refugees who have fled their homes in search of peace and safety for their families. Seeing the number of children who will grow up in this camp, some without knowing any life outside, is heartbreaking. However, while living in the tent is hard and war is still not so far away, there remains a never-ending sense of hope, this became clear when speaking to members of the Emergency staff who are living in the camp themselves having escaped the dangers of ISIS.
The team spent 5 days exploring the camp and hearing some of the incredible and heroic stories from various IDPs and Emergency staff members. Learning about their pasts and finding out how and why they ended up working in the camps has lead to a better understanding of the conflict in that area of the world, and how far the devastation of war can spread. This further enforces the Emergency mission to provide healthcare to all those to deserve it, especially when their worlds have been torn apart by violence.
In order to further understand what life is like in the camp, the team visited individual individual tents, speaking to the IDPs and observing their daily routines. Buddy and the team captured the struggle that a family of five or more faces everyday having to live in such simple conditions, even witnessing an entire family meal cooked on one electric stove in the darkness. The realisation that they may never be able to return to their homes and the crossing to Europe may be too dangerous further proves the need for hope, which without the work done by Emergency may not have been within reach.
When visiting the Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah, the team were able to speak with land mine victims whose limbs had been amputated as a result of stepping on a hidden IED. They spoke with them to understand the effect that this not only has on their lives, but the lives of their families and others around them. This footage captured reminds us of the determination in human nature, and the difference you can make by remaining strong and having hope.
Buddy’s unique vision enabled him to capture the emotion of the story. This emotion creates a connection to those on the screen, allowing us to feel the everyday struggles faced in this area of the world.
In December 2015, The Last Hope team flew to Sudan to visit the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery and the Paediatric Clinic in the Mayo Refugee Camp. The team were shown around the various hospitals and saw first hand the incredible work carried out every day by the Emergency staff who have given their lives to care for those in need. The hospitals are sterile and safe environments that act as a haven in these poverty-stricken areas. The state of the art equipment and highly trained staff help to save lives every day, from malnourished children to open heart surgery.
The Salam Centre, located just outside Khartoum, provides highly specialized and free of charge treatment to patients with either congenital or acquired heart diseases. The Salam Centre provides services on a humanitarian basis, without any political, ideological, or religious discrimination. The services are totally free of charge for all patients and include medical and surgical treatments, drugs, follow-up, food and clothing for all the admission period. Specialized international staff have been appointed to ensure a high standard of surgical care and to carry out a proper training program for national personnel. Cardiac diseases of surgical interest are extremely common in Sub-Saharan Africa. Current estimates for cardiovascular diseases in Africa amount to 300,000 deaths every year. The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery is the only facility in this region offering free-of-charge, qualified cardiac surgical care.
The Paediatric Clinic in Mayo provides primary healthcare for the children in Mayo IDP Camp, on the outskirts of the capital city, Khartoum. The main facilities of the Paediatric Centre include 2 consultation rooms, laboratory, pharmacy, six-bed observation ward, and a veranda that serves as waiting area. The Centre is equipped with an ambulance to refer the children in need of hospitalisation to Bashair hospital in Khartoum. Emergency has started an outreach program in different areas of the IDP camp: the staff of the Paediatric Centre organizes health education sessions, screening for malnutrition and prenatal care for pregnant women, as well as vaccination programs in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
Karen Goodman has made over 20 documentaries and won an Academy Award for Strangers No More. Her films have garnered 4 previous Oscar nominations, several Emmys and the DuPont-Columbia Award for Independent Programming. She has received filmmaking grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the American Film Institute.
Karen’s documentaries have been broadcast nationally on PBS, HBO, and MTV, and screened at festivals around the world including the New York Film Festival, Sundance, New Directors / New Films, London, Berlin, Montreal and St. Petersburg. In addition, she has overseen and filmed dance preservation projects for the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Lincoln Center’s Library and Museum of the Performing Arts.
Award winning cinematographer Buddy Squires has joined Dover Street Entertainment’s production ‘The Last Hope’. Buddy is an Oscar nominated filmmaker and Emmy Award winning cinematographer. His credits include 2 Academy Award-winning films, 7 Academy Award nominated productions, 10 Emmy Award winning films, and 28 Emmy nominated productions. He has received 12 Emmy nominations including one win.