City of Ghosts


2017 Season
San Francisco

With deeply personal access, this is the untold story of a brave group of citizen journalists forced to live undercover, on the run, and in exile—risking their lives to stand up against one of the most violent movements in the world today. From the Academy Award-nominated director of Cartel Land, City of Ghosts follows the efforts of anonymous activists in Syria who banded together to form a group named "Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently" (RBSS) after their homeland was taken over by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. Finding safety is no easy task either, as growing anti-refugee sentiment in Europe greets them with anger and rejection and ISIS pledges to target them wherever they go. Terror, trauma, and guilt similarly follow the men at the center of the film, having left loved ones behind to expose the horrors happening in their town. The strength and brotherhood that bonds the men is clear: the film is full of affecting intimacy and humanity in a situation where little else can be found.

Courtesy of Amazon Studios   

Matthew Heineman
Arabic, English
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Matthew Heineman

Matthew Heineman is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His previous film Cartel Land (2015) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, won three Emmy awards, and captured the Jury award for Directing and Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival. He also directed Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (2012) and Our Time (2009) and contributed to the HBO series The Alzheimer’s Project (2009).

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