Nina Trige Andersen is a historian and freelance journalist. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.

The hard times in Mosul are not over. The city that lived three years under Isis is now faced with a destructed infrastructure – on both a physical and social level.

Fire and smoke surging in soft, heaving, intense rhythms. Like a heartbeat, a breath, a pulse. Foreboding. A young man narrates what he had been taught about his future. About what had been promised to him. The honour in that moment of action – the moment he would walk into death as a martyr. For Isis. He never did. Isis, tomorrow is about the losers of the battle of Mosul, Iraq. A battle that no one won.

«The hard times are not over and neither is Isis.»

The panoramic views of destruction are as sinister as the promises made. The fact that life can even take place here is mind-blowing. Children testify in the film about how they came to be enlisted, many under pressure from their relatives.

One child tells about how his father enlisted first, shortly after Isis arrived in the city, and then obliged his son to join as well. The child begged not to have to take part in the fighting and pleaded with his father not to fight saying that ordinary people would be killed. His father beat him and threatened him, he says. The release from this new unwanted purpose of life came when his father was killed in an airstrike.

«Who wouldn’t forgive their own father», the child says, sitting in the twilight, bent forward, looking at the floor. «But we went through some hard times».

Isis, tomorrow. The lost souls of Mosul. Directors: Francesca Mannocchi, Alessio Romenzi

Lost souls

The hard times are not over, not for anyone with a relation to Mosul. Not for the child who enlisted and lost his father and says he has forgiven him. Not for the state army soldier who watched a child blow himself to pieces, knowing that he would have to kill children from now on, knowing that his heart would break for every one of them. Not for the woman, in whose eyes horror and destruction and loss and despair are reflected when she arrived at the army frontlines after having walked away – for lack of strength and direction not even running but walking away – from the shelling and the bombing during the battle of Mosul.

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