Mosul / Synopsis + Complete Story - Og1 2020

Did you know that the city of Mosul, located in northern Iraq, was once under the control of the notorious Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)?

It's hard to fathom the horrors that unfolded within its streets, but the movie Mosul takes us on a gripping journey through the battle to reclaim this war-torn city.

Directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan, this 2019 American war documentary film delves deep into the heart of the conflict, showcasing the bravery and resilience of those who fought against the oppressive forces.

With its intense action sequences and powerful performances by actors such as Waleed Elgadi, Suhail Dabbach, Adam Bessa, and Is'haq Elias, Mosul offers a harrowing glimpse into the true story of heroism and sacrifice.

So, buckle up and get ready to immerse yourself in the complete story of this remarkable film.


In the heart-pounding and gripping film "Mosul" (2020), director Matthew Michael Carnahan takes us on a thrilling journey through the intense battle to reclaim the Iraqi city of Mosul from the clutches of the notorious Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Based on the real-life events of the 2016 Battle of Mosul, this war documentary delves deep into the harrowing experiences of those involved in the fight for freedom.

As the camera captures the raw and unfiltered reality of the conflict, we are introduced to a diverse cast of characters who represent the different Iraqi ethnic groups embroiled in the operation. From courageous Sunni tribesmen to determined Shiite militias, from fearless Christian fighters to the indomitable Kurdish Peshmerga forces, their intersecting narratives paint a vivid picture of the relentless struggle against the oppressive forces of ISIS.

Through the eyes of Iraqi journalist Ali Maula, who is embedded with the militia, we witness the unimaginable horrors and the unwavering resilience of those on the front lines. Alongside him, we meet the formidable war widow Um Hanadi, whose unwavering determination to avenge her fallen loved ones fuels her fight against the terrorists.

And then there's Nasser Issa, the chilling ISIS recruiter, whose presence serves as a haunting reminder of the evil that must be defeated.

With breathtaking footage captured over nine months by a camera crew embedded with various units of the Iraqi forces, "Mosul" immerses us in the chaos and danger of the battle. We witness the camaraderie and sacrifices made by Captain Alaa Atah of the Iraqi Emergency Response Brigade and Sheikh "The Crocodile" Saleh, whose unwavering commitment to the cause inspires those around them.

Prepare to be on the edge of your seat as "Mosul" takes you on a heart-wrenching and emotionally charged journey through the streets of a city held captive by terror. This directorial debut from Matthew Michael Carnahan, coupled with the powerful performances of Waleed Elgadi, Suhail Dabbach, Adam Bessa, and Is'haq Elias, will leave you breathless and remind you of the indomitable spirit of those who fought for freedom in the face of unimaginable darkness.

List of Chapters:

  1. The Battle of Mosul
  2. The Story of "Mosul" Movie
  3. Factors Leading to ISIS Control
  4. Challenges Faced by Iraqi Forces
  5. The Resilience of the Iraqi People
  6. Key Events and Turning Points in the Movie
  7. Civilian Casualties in the Battle
  8. Long-Term Consequences of the Battle
  9. The Fight Against ISIL in Iraq

The Battle of Mosul

The Battle of Mosul took place in 2016, where Iraqi Government forces and coalition allies fought against ISIS, who had controlled the city since June 2014. The battle aimed to liberate Mosul from the control of ISIS, who had engaged in criminal activities and terrorized the population. The movie "Mosul" is based on this battle and provides a unique perspective by focusing on the story of a self-directed Iraqi SWAT team's efforts to fight the Islamic State.

The Story of "Mosul" Movie

The movie "Mosul" is a 2019 Arabic-language American war action film written and directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan. It premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and was released on Netflix on November 26, 2020. The film follows a police unit from Mosul as they fight to liberate the city from thousands of ISIS militants. Unlike many war films, "Mosul" is told from the point of view of the people who actually live in the region, providing a fresh perspective on the fight for freedom in a war-torn area.

Factors Leading to ISIS Control

ISIS gained control over Mosul in June 2014 due to several key factors. Firstly, the post-invasion instability in Iraq created a power vacuum that allowed extremist groups like ISIS to emerge. Additionally, the disaffection of Iraqi Sunnis, who felt marginalized and excluded from the political process, provided fertile ground for extremist groups to gain support.

The emergence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, also contributed to the rise of ISIS.

Furthermore, the Syrian civil war provided an opportunity for ISIS to expand its influence and establish a stronghold in Syria, from where they launched attacks and gained control over territory in Iraq, including Mosul.

ISIS employed various tactics and strategies, such as the use of tunnels, suicide bombs, and terror tactics, to seize and hold onto Mosul.

Challenges Faced by Iraqi Forces

The Iraqi forces faced numerous challenges during the battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS. The militants used guerrilla tactics, hiding among civilians and utilizing tunnels to move undetected. They had access to a wide range of weapons, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs), rockets, and mortars.

The urban terrain made it difficult for the Iraqi forces to maneuver and avoid civilian casualties.

Additionally, the Iraqi forces often faced logistical challenges, including shortages of supplies such as ammunition and medical equipment.

Despite these obstacles, the Iraqi SWAT team depicted in the movie "Mosul" showed bravery and determination in their fight against ISIS.

The Resilience of the Iraqi People

The documentary film "Mosul" highlights the resilience and determination of the Iraqi people in the face of constant attacks and tragedy. Despite the destruction caused by war and ISIS control, the people of Mosul are shown to be resilient and determined to defend their city.

The movie portrays the bravery and sacrifices made by the Iraqi police officers as they fight to protect their city and its people.

It provides a fresh perspective on Middle Eastern war violence and emphasizes the courage and determination of the Iraqi forces.

Key Events and Turning Points in the Movie

The movie "Mosul" depicts several key events and turning points during the battle against ISIS. It opens with a tense shootout between Kawa, a young cop, and ISIS militants, resulting in the death of his uncle.

Kawa and his colleague join the Nineveh SWAT team, which consists of Iraqi police officers and soldiers fighting against ISIS.

The team engages in battles with ISIS militants, including a raid on a hospital where hostages are held.

After a failed mission, the team splits up and goes into hiding but eventually regroups to continue their fight.

They receive help from a group of Yazidi women who have been rescued from ISIS captivity.

The team's ultimate success comes when they capture the ISIS leader, Al-Mahdi, and bring him to justice.

Civilian Casualties in the Battle

The battle to free Mosul from ISIS resulted in a significant number of civilian casualties. Estimates suggest that between 5,000 and 11,000 civilians lost their lives, with many killed in street fighting or ISIS bombings.

The movie "Mosul" does not explicitly address civilian casualties, but it provides an important perspective on the lives of Iraqis living on the front lines of the war with ISIS.

The civilian casualty rate was nearly 10 times higher than previously reported, highlighting the devastating impact of the conflict on innocent lives.

Long-Term Consequences of the Battle

The battle for Mosul had long-term consequences for the region. The city, once a thriving metropolis with a population of nearly two million, was permanently damaged by the conflict. The presence and control of ISIS in various Iraqi cities, including Mosul, exacerbated after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The movie "Mosul" portrays the damage caused by ISIS, including their criminal activities such as trading drugs for guns, stealing cash from citizens, and kidnapping and raping women. The battle had a significant impact on the region, causing permanent damage to the city and its people.

The Fight Against ISIL in Iraq

The documentary film "Mosul" sheds light on the broader issue of the fight against ISIL in Iraq. It provides on-the-ground reporting of the battle for Mosul, showcasing the brutal nine-month fight to drive ISIS out of the city.

The documentary highlights the role of the Iraqi forces, including the Iraqi SWAT team, in the fight against ISIS.

By focusing on the experiences of Iraqis living on the front lines, the documentary offers an important perspective on the human toll of the conflict.

It also emphasizes the challenges faced by the Iraqi forces, including the deadly cache of booby-traps and improvised explosive devices left behind by ISIS.

Overall, the documentary provides insight into the complexity of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and its impact on the lives of Iraqis.

Discussion topics

  • 1) What are the main themes or ideas explored in the movie "Mosul" (2020)?
  • 2) How does the film portray the complexities and challenges faced by the Iraqi Government forces and coalition allies in their battle against ISIS?
  • 3) Can you relate any of the characters' experiences or perspectives in the movie to your own life or the world around you?
  • 4) How does the setting of the film, specifically the city of Mosul, contribute to the overall story and its impact?
  • 5) In what ways does the movie "Mosul" (2020) differ from or align with other war films you have seen? How does it compare to real-life events or current conflicts?
  • 6) How did watching "Mosul" (2020) impact your understanding of the ongoing fight against extremist groups like ISIS and the challenges faced by those involved?
  • 7) What are your thoughts on the portrayal of violence and its consequences in the movie? How does it shape your perspective on war and conflict?
  • Final analysis and implications

    So, you've just finished watching the movie Mosul and I bet your mind is buzzing with thoughts and emotions. I mean, how could it not be? This film takes you on a gripping journey through the battle to reclaim Mosul from the clutches of ISIS. It's intense, it's raw, and it's a story that needs to be told.

    As the credits roll, you can't help but feel a mix of relief and sadness. Relief because the Iraqi Government forces and their coalition allies were able to defeat ISIS and liberate the city. Sadness because you've witnessed the devastating toll that war takes on both the people and the place.

    One thing that struck me about this movie is the way it humanizes the characters. We're not just watching soldiers fighting a faceless enemy. We're introduced to Jasem, Kawa, and Waleed, three individuals who are willing to risk everything to protect their city and their people. We see their fears, their hopes, and their unwavering determination. It's a reminder that war is not just about strategy and firepower, but about the human spirit and the sacrifices made.

    But amidst all the chaos and destruction, there are moments of humanity that shine through. The scene where Jasem and Kawa rescue a young boy trapped in the rubble is a powerful reminder that even in the darkest of times, compassion and empathy can prevail. It's a small glimmer of hope in a sea of despair.

    As the movie comes to an end, you're left with a sense of reflection. The battle for Mosul may be over, but the scars it left behind are deep. It raises questions about the aftermath of war, the process of rebuilding, and the long-lasting effects on the people who lived through it.

    Mosul is not just a war movie. It's a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a reminder of the power of unity in the face of adversity. It challenges us to think about the true cost of war and the importance of standing up against injustice.

    So, as you sit there, processing everything you've just witnessed, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the story of Mosul. Let it sink in, let it provoke thought, and let it inspire you to seek a world where such battles are no longer necessary.

    Mosul | Official Trailer | Netflix

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    Links and references

    Or maybe you haven't watched it and are trying to figure out if the movie is for you:

    The battle for freedom, a gritty tale of courage and redemption - OG1 2020

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