Skye Fitzgerald comes into this film with a great pedigree. He is an Oscar and Emmy nominated director. Meaning he makes good films which catch the attention of viewers, critics and award committees.
Hunger Ward was filmed inside two therapeutic feeding centers in the war torn country of Yemen. This is a country which has been in conflict for years and years. Yet we seem to have forgotten Yemen. It has been relegated to the background. This despite the fact that the people living there have suffered greatly, especially when it comes to a basic need like enough food to eat.
Two women are shown in the film as people who have not forgotten. The two brave women know that a horrible humanitarian crisis is happening in Yemen and they are not willing to turn their backs to it as the rest of the world seems to have.
Starvation has spread throughout Yemen over the course of the years of the conflict they are involved in. Two are doing something about it. Two women. Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and a nurse, Mekkia Mahdi, do their best to save the lives of starving children. The most vulnerable in this deadly situation.
A compelling film which will see viewers’ hearts breaking again and again due to the horrible environment. Alsadeeq and Mahdi do what they do because they believe one can not do otherwise. Children are bearing the brunt of the conflict.
Director Fitzgerald does not avert his camera no matter how harsh the situation. Acknowledging that the famine is a human created one (due to the conflict), it does not mean that the young people suffering should be abandoned as the rest of the world seems to have done. Due to his high level of skill, Fitzgerald makes the horrible watchable. Hard to watch at times, but a definite necessity as it serves as a reminder of a story/situation which the media has walked away from. Empathy is sought and cultivated.
Health workers are on the front line here. They are struggling to identify the most precarious circumstances amongst a sea of starvation. We see very clearly the cost of the ongoing conflict. It is rendered undeniable. Hopefully this film spurs the subject back on to the global radar compelling something to be done. In the meantime, wonderful people like Mahdi and Alsadeeq are in the trenches fighting for lives.