Russo Bros. Discuss ‘Mosul,’ the Assyrians and Iraqi Arabic

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The Russo Brothers Discuss their new movie Mosul, the Omission of Assyrians and the use of Iraqi Arabic.

Mosul is an all Arabic language film produced by the Russo Brothers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War) 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.

‘Mosul’ (l to r) Tarik Belmekki as ‘Youness,’ Qutaiba Abdelhaq as ‘Kamal,’ Mohamed Attougui as ‘Akram,’ Adam Bessa as ‘Kawa,’ Mohimen Mahbuba as ‘Amir’ and Is’haq Elias as ‘Waleed.’ Photo Credit: Jose Haro/Netflix© 2020.

However, the big issue that I address with Joe and Anthony Russo is the removal of indigenous Assyrio-Babylonian population (Assyrians, Chaldeans and Arameans) 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.

Tunisian actor, Adam 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 various Muslim and Christian sects, the only other ethnic group talked about happens to be in my favorite scene where Bessa really shines featuring a Persian Miliatary unit.

For those of us who understand the conflict, had family go in as translators and friends escape the most recent genocide (450,000 Assyrio-Babylonians and Yazidis), understand what’s happening in the dialogue, but for those of you who uninitiated, 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 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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