Matthew Michael Carnahan, Suhail Dabbach & Adam Bessa Talk ‘Mosul’ and the Omission of the Assyrians

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Writer/Director Matthew Michael Carnahan, along with cast Suhail Dabbach & Adam Bessa Discuss Mosul Out Thanksgiving Day on Netflix.

Mosul is an all Arabic language film produced by the Russo Brothers and written and directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan about the Nineveh SWAT team whose primary requirement in  fighting DAESH (ISIS in Arabic) is that you had to have someone kidnapped or murdered by the terrorist organization.

The film is beautifully made and for the first time since 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia, Arabs were not made out to be terrorists in western films.

However, the big issue that I address with Carnahan, Dabbach and Bessa, who omit the indigenous Assyrians from an entire film based on the Nineveh SWAT, in the Nineveh Plains in Mosul, which is build on top of their ancient capital city of Nineveh.

MOSUL (L to R) Suhail Dabbach as “Major Jaseem” and Adam Bessa as “Kawa.” Cr. JOSE HARO/NETFLIX © 2020.

Bessa, plays a Kurd named Kawa (you’ll hear more about that in  my one-on-one interview with him on Wednesday), and although the dialogue alludes to the SWAT team being made of of Muslim and Christian sects, the only other ethnic group talked about, in my favorite scene where Bessa really shines featuring a Persian unit.

For those of us who have understanding of the conflict, had family go in as translators and friends escape the most recent genocide (yes, 450,000 dead because of their ethnicity and/or religion constitutes a genocide), understand what’s happening in the dialogue, but for those of you who aren’t in the know, you would never realize that the indigenous Assyrians, an entirely different Semitic group of people would have ever existed and survived this conflict. You would never know that they had are continuously persecuted and fleeing their homeland, living as refugees with their identity continuously being denied by those within Iraq and ignored internationally.

Aside from the omission of the people who suffered the most in Mosul, the film Mosul is able to shine a little light on what happened to the last remaining members of the Nineveh SWAT team and their efforts in protecting the Nineveh Plain from terrorists. The dialogue is impeccable, the conversations are real and Carnahan was able to capture a Middle Eastern mentality and morbid sense of humor in war torn Iraq.

Mosul begins streaming on Netflix on Thanksgiving Day and find out what the cast is thankful for in this interview.

 

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