‘ISIS, Tomorrow’ has a question for us today

A still from ‘ISIS, Tomorrow, The Lost Souls of Mosul.’ (Image supplied)
Updated 12 September 2018
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‘ISIS, Tomorrow’ has a question for us today

  • The film narrates the stark reality of a Mosul recaptured by Iraqi forces where descendants of rebel fighters continue to deal with post-war trauma

VENICE: In less than 80 minutes, “ISIS, Tomorrow, The Lost Souls of Mosul” tells us how more than 500,000 children were trained by the militant group to become terrorists of the future.
Directed by Francesca Mannocchi and Alessio Romenzi, and screened at the Venice Film Festival last week, the documentary is an insight into the heart-breaking stories of innocent children trained to become suicide bombers.
The film takes us to a time in January 2018 — six months after Mosul was freed from the clutches of Daesh (referred to in the film as ISIS) — where we see a ravaged city, with houses reduced to makeshift tents. Captivating cinematography takes us through buildings that have been flattened from the intense bombing.
Through it all the directors weave a sense of gloom and hopelessness, before panning the camera onto a 16-year-old boy who narrates his experience of being recruited by Daesh and coaxed into joining the bloody movement. The teenager describes how several others were taught to kill their neighbors — to further the ideology of Daesh — complacent in the belief that there is no greater honor than supposed martyrdom.
The film narrates the stark reality of a Mosul recaptured by Iraqi forces where descendants of rebel fighters continue to deal with post-war trauma.
While history has borne witness to how defeated forces bury their weapons and hide their arsenals, in Daesh’s case, the militants left behind a powerful and dedicated army of children indoctrinated with the values of the extremist network.
In the end, we feel not anger but compassion for these minors, manipulated by Daesh during the three years that Mosul was held captive. And as the world wonders whether Daesh has been truly defeated or not, the film forces us to ask a more pressing question: How do we stop children from turning into the terrorists of tomorrow?


‘Star Wars’ producer Kennedy wants new movie voices ‘to bring world to its senses’

Updated 19 November 2018
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‘Star Wars’ producer Kennedy wants new movie voices ‘to bring world to its senses’

  • Kennedy was the first woman to receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Irving. G. Thalberg award
  • Kennedy said recent efforts to improve diversity in Hollywood and give women better roles in front of and behind the camera must be embraced

LOS ANGELES: “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy on Sunday accepted a lifetime achievement award from the organizers of the Oscars and said she hoped it would open the door for new voices in the movie industry who “might bring the world back to its senses.”
Honored with her producer husband Frank Marshall, Kennedy was the first woman to receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Irving. G. Thalberg award.
In 2012, Kennedy became president of LucasFilm, reviving the sci-fi saga and producing multi-billion dollar movies “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” that have made her one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood.
“I am very proud to be the first woman to accept this award. But I am also not the first to deserve it and I am 100 percent sure I am not the last,” Kennedy said to wild applause at a gala dinner attended by studio executives and many of Hollywood’s biggest actors and directors.
Kennedy and Marshall co-founded Amblin Entertainment with director Steven Spielberg in 1981 and produced of blockbusters including “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic Park” and “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.”
Kennedy said recent efforts to improve diversity in Hollywood and give women better roles in front of and behind the camera must be embraced.
“It is my hope that with the inclusion of these powerful new voices, we might just bring the world back to its senses and maybe, just maybe, shatter a few glass ceilings along the way,” Kennedy said.
Veteran actress Cicely Tyson, who turns 94 in December, was presented with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, along with Argentinian musician Lalo Schifrin, the composer of scores for “Dirty Harry” and “Mission: Impossible,” and publicist Marvin Levy, who has worked with Spielberg for more than 40 years.
New York-born Tyson, who has appeared in numerous films, television shows and stage plays, was praised by record producer Quincy Jones for her “grace, dignity and class” and for focusing on roles that highlight the struggles of African-Americans.
Filmmaker Tyler Perry noted that Tyson began her career in 1950 “when black people weren’t allowed to come in through front doors.”
She became known for playing strong black women in TV series such as “Roots” in the 1970s, the 1972 movie “Sounder” and more recently “The Help.” “She is a queen to us,” Perry said.