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Opening Film

City of Ghostsl유령의 도시

  • Director : Matthew HEINEMAN
  • Nation : USA
  • Year : 2017
  • Running Time : 90min
  • Genre : Documentary

Screening Schedule

Date Time Venue Ratings Subtitles GT
2017-05-18 19:00 SSH
2017-05-21 19:30 MM2

Information

-Synopsis

City of Ghosts exposes a new type of warfare: a battle over ideas, a fight for hearts and minds, a conflict over clicks and views. Captivating in its immediacy, it follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”-a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. With astonishing. deeply personal access, this is the story of a brave group of citizen journalists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today. Directed, produced, and filmed by Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew HEINEMAN (Cartel Land, 2015 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award), City of Ghosts is a singularly powerful cinematic experience that is sure to shake audiences to their core as it elevates the canon of one of the most talented and exciting documentary filmmakers working today.

-Program Note

Have you ever heard of the name, ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently’? RBSS is the self-organized citizen journalist group banded together to disclose to the world the horrific reality of ‘Raqqa’, a city located north of Syria, now the homeland of ISIS. City of Ghosts is a documentary following the ‘RBSS’ life-risking fight for human rights, freedom and peace in this internationally isolated and silenced city. The Arab Spring ignited in Tunisia raised the wave of revolution in Syria suffering under more than 40 years of President Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist government rule. Unfortunately, the never-ending civil war transformed the hometown of ordinary people, ‘Raqqa’ into the capital and headquarters of the world’s most heinous terrorist organization, ISIS.
With every worldwide news agencies pulling out, the reason for this RBSS’ life-threatening attempt to transmit anything to a single line and a single photograph out of this totally isolated ghost city is due to their fierce desire for freedom. The messages they send with their lives at stake make us realize how precious our freedom, human rights and peace are. In this place where even taking photos is prohibited, the courage of the RBSS members, and filmmaker Matthew HEINEMAN's cinema vérité camera which closely marks scenes from Raqqa Square where horrendous torture and execution takes place to the RBSS members’ safety home are enough to raise passionately heated responses. Furthermore, this film clearly states that the classical guns-and-knife wielding weaponry war has been replaced by a media war whereby modern warfare is now determined by various media platforms including social media that can influence public opinion. As we watch the evolution of ISIS PR videos from their unrefined early stages to gradually resembling suspense-charged action thriller films with high-tech Hollywood techniques, we come to grasp the truth about modern day religion-ideology wars which is in fact has become an ideological warfare that exploits the media. This film testifies to the reality that this quicksand-like war against terror which the entire world is being dragged into cannot end just by destroying an organization like ISIS, and unless a system that truly represents the people emerges out of this land of conflict, it is a reality that can never be resolved. (MAENG Soojin)

- Director
Matthew HEINEMAN
Matthew HEINEMAN

Matthew HEINEMAN is a filmmaker based in New York. HEINEMAN’s previous film, Cartel Land, was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Emmy Award after premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won Jury Awards for directing and cinematography. Previously, he directed and produced the Emmy Award–nominated documentary Escape Fire, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

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