(K. Brent Tomer),
WHAT would you do if your home town were overrun by murderous totalitarians? Most would keep their heads down; few would be brave enough to risk their lives to inform the world. In “City of Ghosts”, a remarkable new documentary film, Matthew Heinemann follows a group of such courageous souls. The members of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) work as citizen journalists, recording the atrocities committed by Islamic State (IS) in their city and publishing them on social media.
The film opens not in Raqqa but in New York, where RBSS has won the 2015 International Press Freedom Award. Cameras flash; well-dressed journalists make small talk. But as Aziz, the group’s spokesman, begins to make his speech, the camera flashes back to Syria. The sound of applause becomes the thud of gunfire: we see Raqqa in the depths of IS control, the capital of the self-proclaimed caliphate. As IS begins to tighten its grip, getting information out becomes more difficult: after one of their members is caught with RBSS material and…Continue reading