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TIFF 2019 Review: Mosul

The Nineveh SWAT recruit a police officer that they saved in their battle against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq.

ISIS soldiers are on the verge of overrunning two Iraqi police officers until the Nineveh SWAT shows up and defeats them; one of the saved decides to join the elite military unit, which has suffered a number of causalities, on their mysterious mission. Questions arise if the new recruit is traitor as the deaths continue to mount.

The story takes place over the course of a day with Kawa (Adam Bessa) serving as the uninitiated amongst the covert group, therefore, requires a lot of explanations which in turn helps the audience understand what is going on.  A handheld documentary style is adopted to embed the camera into the action.

There is a real-time feel to how the action unfolds that probably stems from Matthew Michael Carnahan being well acquainted with the genre as a screenwriter before making Mosul his directorial debut.   The production design is authentic and makes the war-torn environment believable.  What is not entirely convincing are the characters meaning that the final reveal does not have the emotional impact that it should.

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Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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