City of Ghosts


In 2014, darkness descended on the Syrian city of Raqqa. Devastated and terrified residents watched as the forces of the Islamic State captured and strangled their beautiful homeland. City of Ghosts chronicles the story of brave citizen-journalists who refuse to stand by during the violent and continued onslaught. Arming themselves with information, these anonymous activists found the group “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” in order to document and report human rights abuses. Through video footage, still photographs, and firsthand accounts, they share the harrowing details of ISIS’s occupation of Raqqa with the world. Intrepid filmmaker Matthew Heineman (Academy Award nominated director of Cartel Land) gained unprecedented access to members of the group now working outside of the country, having had to leave Syria to continue their efforts. Their bold actions come at a significant cost—they endure surveillance and threat of torture and death—but they have no intention of stopping. Powerfully cinematic and deeply personal, City of Ghosts is both an intimate document of an unbelievable team of people and a reflection on the perils that result from choosing to take action. ST

Filmmaker Q&A following screening


Matthew Heineman


Matthew Heineman

Executive Producers

Alex Gibney, Molly Thompson


Matthew Hamachek, Pax Wassermann, Matthew Heineman


Matthew Heineman

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

91 minutes