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City of Ghosts is Matthew Heineman’s follow-up to his Academy Award nominated documentary, Cartel Land. Cartel Land was particularly notable for having the kind of footage from the Mexican Drug War that made you go, “How in the world did he film this stuff without dying?” City of Ghosts, which focuses on a group of Syrian journalists known as “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” (RBSS), offers similarly shocking footage, though in a bit of a different fashion.

RBSS formed in the city of Raqqa, Syria when ISIS took over and made it their capital. Determined to alert the rest of the world to the atrocities taking place there, the RBSS journalists began discreetly taking pictures and videos to put on the internet; they did so at an enormous risk to their lives and the lives of their families. Throughout the film, we see lots of the early footage they shot. This footage is far different than the high quality stuff Heineman was able to shoot filming on location in Cartel Land–sometimes it’s just grainy cellphone video—but nevertheless it’s shocking stuff.

City of Ghosts follows several of the original RBSS journalists as they flee to Europe to continue their work. From there, they find at least some degree of safety, though their lives still remain in great jeopardy. We see them as they continue to communicate with men on the ground in Syria, receiving video and news to post to their social-media accounts. It’s an intense, rewarding documentary, but, of course, keep in mind that, like Cartel Land, it’s very violent and disturbing.

Make yourself heard!