The Cave (2019 Syrian film)

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The Cave
Film poster
Directed byFeras Fayyad
Written byAlisar Hasan
Feras Fayyad
Produced bySigrid Dyekjær
Kirstine Barfod
StarringAmani Ballour
CinematographyMuhammed Khair Al Shami
Ammar Sulaiman
Mohammad Eyad
Samer Qweder
Edited byDenniz Göl Bertelsen
Per K. Kirkegaard
Music byMatthew Herbert
Danish Documentary Production
Hecat Studio
Distributed byNational Geographic Documentary Films (United States)
Release date
  • September 5, 2019 (2019-09-05) (TIFF)
Running time
95 minutes
Box office$191,703[1][2]

The Cave (Arabic: الكهف) is a 2019 Syrian-Danish documentary film directed by Feras Fayyad and written by Fayyad and Alisar Hasan.[3] A companion piece to his earlier film Last Men in Aleppo,[4] the film profiles Dr. Amani Ballour, a physician in Ghouta who is operating a makeshift hospital nicknamed "the Cave" during the Syrian Civil War.[5] The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 5, 2019.


In an interview, Fayyad said his purpose in making the film was to create documentary evidence that could be used to seek justice for innocent victims of the civil war. "The film should put people in an uncomfortable position to look through the terrible reality around us," he said.[6]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% with an average rating of 8.3/10, based on 63 reviews. The site's consensus states that "A hard-hitting documentary with imagery as powerful as its message, The Cave poses heartbreakingly urgent questions -- and leaves them for the viewer to answer."[7] It also has a score of 83 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 21 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[8] The film received the Cinema For Peace Foundation award for the Most Valuable Documentary of the Year at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival.


The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People's Choice Award for Documentaries.[9]

The Cave won The Cinema for Peace Award for The Most Valuable Documentary of the Year for 2019. [10]

The Cave was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 92nd Academy Awards.[11]


  1. ^ "The Cave (2019)". Box Office Mojo., Inc. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Cave (2019)". The Numbers. IMDb. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  3. ^ Brent Lang, "With ‘The Cave,’ ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ Director Feras Fayyad Returns to Syria to Find a Hero". Variety, September 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Caryn James, "'The Cave': Film Review | TIFF 2019". The Hollywood Reporter, September 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Tomris Laffley, "Toronto Film Review: ‘The Cave’". Variety, September 5, 2019.
  6. ^ Mac Cameron (October 28, 2019). "In a bunker hospital in Syria, a director made it 'his mission' to document the plight of innocent civilians". Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Cave (2019)", Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango, retrieved October 10, 2021
  8. ^ Metacritic
  9. ^ Jessica Wong, "TIFF 2019: Jojo Rabbit captures TIFF People's Choice Award". CBC News, September 15, 2019.
  10. ^ "Nominations 2020". Cinema for Peace Foundation. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  11. ^ "Oscars 2020 nominations: Full list of nominees including Joker, Little Women and Jojo Rabbit". Telegraph. January 13, 2020.

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