A film by Skye Fitzgerald
2020, 40 minutes
No. 347

Nominee | Best Documentary Short Subject | 2021 Academy Awards

An unflinching look at hunger's toll on the children of war-torn Yemen.

In March 2018, the UN reported that 10 million Yemenis were one step away from famine and that hunger is threatening an entire generation. Borne out of a sense of urgency at the sustained civilian suffering caused by the human-caused famine in Yemen, we embedded with a team of doctors and nurses working at Therapeutic Feeding Centers (TFCs) treating those most at risk of starvation.

Filmed from inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in Yemen, HUNGER WARD documents two women health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war. The film provides an unflinching portrait of Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi as they try to save the lives of hunger-stricken children within a population on the brink of famine.
The film bears witness to the unfolding tragedy with a cinematic eye - thus rendering horror watchable, and deepening empathy for our subjects and awareness of the significant civilian suffering resulting from the current conflict.

"Hunger Ward is at once a heartbreaking look at unimaginable suffering in a country most Americans know little about, despite U.S. involvement in the conflict, and a stirring call to action." - Los Angeles Times

"The other Oscar nominated short documentaries are affecting, each in its own way. Hunger Ward is on another emotional level. It’s heartbreaking. The civil war between Saudi-backed and Iranian-backed forces has led to a refugee crisis, and that crisis has bred starvation. 'If we don’t lose children to malnutrition,' a nurse laments, 'we lose them to bombing.' - Boston Globe

"Hunger Ward shows how Yemen's health workers struggle to save young victims of malnutrition... Children on the verge of death from malnutrition in Yemen are being brought back to health and recovering their childhoods, thanks to nutrition clinics across the country. Dr. Aida Al-Sadeeq celebrates those success stories. For a decade, Sadeeq ran a program at Sadaqa Hospital in Aden that treated children with malnutrition. Sadeeq, who is now an assistant professor at the University of Aden, was filmed at work in her clinic for this new documentary." - NPR