fbpx Biennale Cinema 2019 | Mosul
La Biennale di Venezia

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Out of Competition
Matthew Michael Carnahan
AGBO (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Mike Larocca), Jeremy Steckler, Dawn Ostroff
Running Time:
Main Cast:
Suhail Dabbach, Adam Bessa, Is’Haq Elias
Matthew Michael Carnahan
Mauro Fiore
Alex Rodriguez
Production Designer:
Philip Ivey
Costume Designer:
Mary McLeod
Henry Jackman
Mark Binder, Elliot Hartley
Special Effects:Stefano Corridori


When ISIS took their homes, families and city, one group of men fought to take it all back. Based on true events, this is the story of the Nineveh SWAT team, a renegade police unit who waged a guerrilla operation against ISIS in a desperate struggle to save their home city of Mosul.

Director’s Statement

One of the two Commanders of the Nineveh SWAT Team, Colonel Rayyan, has been shot by ISIS terrorists three times. They’ve killed two of his brothers, kidnapped a third, killed his brothers-in-law, bombed his Father’s home, and shot his sister at his engagement party. Every one of his Men has a similar story of loss. And yet they haven’t stopped fighting once in 5 years. As someone from a country that has been at War with Iraq since I was a child, I’m embarrassed to say that, until I read the New Yorker article, The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS, on which this film is based, I had never conceived of people like those in the Nineveh SWAT Team: men fighting endlessly, in the most hellish conditions, sacrificing themselves so that some might be able to reclaim their homes and families on the other side of this nightmare. I hadn’t even finished the article when I called and asked Joe and Anthony Russo if I could not only adapt it as a film, but also direct—and as they were digesting this vaguely ridiculous request, as I had never directed anything, I went further and said the only way I could see making this film was with an Arabic cast speaking the Arabic language. When they didn’t hang up, I knew I had met two rare people who saw this article and opportunity the same way as me: we could inspire the same sorts of reactions we all had to the material by telling this horrible, beautiful story of these Men on film, in their mother tongue, with Actors from their part of the world. I think we have done this. And I am proud of it.


PRODUCTION 1: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Mike Larocca – AGBO
1124 San Julian Street
90015 – Los Angeles, United States
Tel. 424-421-5000

PRODUCTION 2: Jeremy Steckler, Dawn Ostroff

WORLD SALES: Alex Walton - Endeavor Content
9560 Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills
90212 – Los Angeles, United States
Tel. 310 270 4900

PRESS OFFICE: Paul Saunter – DDA
192-198 Vauxhall Bridge Rd
SW1V 1DX – London, United Kingdom

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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema