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9 Days in Raqqa

2020 [FRENCH]


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Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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823.81 MB
Arabic 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 7 / 18
1.49 GB
Arabic 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 7 / 19

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Reviewed by guy-bellinger10 / 10

Nine days that matter.

We all know the names of dictators, invaders and other oppressors but it is much less the case - what an injustice! - for the names of the heroes and heroines who fought and are still fighting today against terrible adversity to bring about a better world. Thus, the name of Bashar El-Assad, cynical executioner of the Syrian people, immediately comes to mind, while the name of Leila Mustapha, the heroine of Xavier de Lauzanne's documentary « 9 Days in Raqqa », does not mean anything to most of us, including myself. And yet here is a most admirable person: she is not only a charming friendly young woman (aged 32 at the time of filming in late 2019) but also the deputy mayor of Raqqa, a doubly martyred city for first having been the capital of the Daech khalfat from 2014 to 2017 (with all the exactions that implies) and then savagely bombed (destroyed to 82%) by the Liberation Forces of the city. A woman, holding such important positions so early? Being single? And Kurdish? And Muslim? And not veiled? And a lover of freedom and democracy? All this in El-Assad's Syria? Incredible assuredly but true.

Such an exceptional woman (though of an astounding simplicity) well deserved an in-depth portrait. It is now done thanks to the director Xavier de Lauzanne, an excellent documentary filmmaker (remember the luminous « Little Gems ») and Marine de Tilly, a great reporter and writer, who agreed to interview Leila in front of his cameras during nine days in December 2019. The result is 90 minutes in every way exciting, which, in addition to the endearing personality of the mayor, informs us about the three years's time of the Daech dictatorship, the savage fighting of the Kurdish-American forces to dislodge them and the least known, the period 2017-2019, which documents the immeasurable task of the reconstruction, the restoration of democracy, political and cultural life, the emancipation of women. Focusing all her forces to fulfill this formidable mission, Leïla Mustapha works hard, sleeps little and is careful to protect herself (and her parents) from possible attacks (two of her collaborators were recently assassinated). All the more so since the task, immense in itself, is complicated by the withdrawal of American troops decided by Donald Trump. One can only admire the energy and the uncommon idealism of Leila who should become, in all logic after this film, a legendary figure. She who resists with a smile (and repressed fear) to forces much bigger than her. Thank you to Xavier de Lauzanne for having made us discover her, in spite of all the vicissitudes that have stood in his way. The same gratitude goes to Marine de Tilly, who knows how to put Leila in the spotlight through her questions without putting herself too much in the foreground. These 90 fascinating minutes are accompanied, which does not spoil anything, by an inspired score by Ibrahim Maalouf, at once tender, serious and melancholic. It goes straight to the heart ; maybe because, coming from Lebanon, the composer really knows about ruins.

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