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E-Team (2014)

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When atrocities are committed in countries held hostage by ruthless dictators, Human Rights Watch sends in the E-Team (Emergencies Team), a collection of fiercely intelligent individuals ... See full summary »

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Anna Neistat ... Herself
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When atrocities are committed in countries held hostage by ruthless dictators, Human Rights Watch sends in the E-Team (Emergencies Team), a collection of fiercely intelligent individuals hired to document war crimes and report them to the rest of the world. Within this volatile climate, filmmakers Ross Kauffman and Katy Chevigny take us to the frontline in Syria and Libya, where shrapnel, bullet holes, and unmarked graves provide mounting evidence of coordinated attacks conducted by Bashar al-Assad and the now-deceased Muammar Gaddafi. The crimes are rampant, random, and often undocumented, making E-Team's effort to get information out of the country and into the hands of media outlets and criminal courts all the more necessary. Written by Sundance Film Festival

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22 October 2014 (USA)  »

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Druzyna E  »

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The ninth Netflix original documentary. See more »

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Well done documentary about those who document what dictators want to hide.
10 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

E-Team is a documentary about workers for Human Rights Watch who travel to go hands on to investigate abuses and atrocities of governments inside the countries of Syria and Libya (and in the past Bosnia) and report back to the world what they have seen. There are a number people who undertake work who we see at various stages in the process, highlighting of course the most important and potentially dangerous on-the-ground interviews and collection of data. One of the people featured, Anna Neistat, the only woman of those of the four or five major character we follow, gets clearly the most presence in the film (with her being from Russia a factor given how it's Russian president Putin as the biggest backer of Syrian dictator Assad), but if anyone was to be a central kind of character it was good it was her, and generally we get to see the other rights workers in the different facets of what they're doing, both presently and a little about what they've done in the past.

Do not expect an in depth documentary about any of these brutal and often complex overseas crises. You see snippets about what's going on, but it gives far from a clear picture. The point isn't these events in themselves but how an organization may go about trying to piece together potential criminal violations within them so they can disseminate that information. On that latter basis it's a very well done, if not perfect, documentary.

One thing however I must say, though it's not a major blot on the film, is how it's sort of a missed opportunity. The wars they show here have been huge stories that have gotten much media attention. HRW has been involved all over the world, and the film could have given some welcomed attention to a place that hasn't gotten as much coverage: South Sudan or The Congo for instance. However that doesn't take away anything that is done well, and it's well worth checking out for anyone who believes ruthless dictators and war criminals need to someway and somehow be held accountable for their actions. It's about pessimism and also hope for a more just world.


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