Docu: City of two springs

When life returns to Mosul

Docu + talk - 

When the war against ISIS in Iraq is almost concluded, the eleven year-old Ala’ and her family who fled from Mosul want to return to their old homes and lives. But how do you build up a life when everything around you is destroyed? The documentary ‘City of Two Springs’ provides a pervasive and intimate perspective on the impact that war has on people. 

When the war with ISIS in Iraq is nearly over, Ala’ and her family want to return to their home in Mosul. When Ala’ is back, she notices what the devastating consequences of war on city life are. We follow the struggle of eleven-year-old Ala’ to give meaning to her life during and after the war. In the search for a new future, hope proves to be as valuable as scarce. 

Parallel to Ala’s story Lise Grande, head of the humanitarian mission of the United Nations, and Dutch ambassador Jan Waltmans, work around the clock to help people returning to Mosul safely. They are located in the same country as Ala’, but their worlds are endlessly far from each other.

City of two springs is a unique glimpse into the work of the international community in a war zone – from correct diplomacy to backroom politics – as well as an intriguing, intimate portrait of the impact of war and human resilience in the most difficult circumstances possible.

Watch the trailer here:          

City of two springs – trailer from dimdocs on Vimeo.

The film lasts a bit more than an hour. Afterwards we continue to talk about the film and the reconstruction of Mosul with various experts, including the directors of the film.

About the speakers

  • Laurens Samson is the director of the film City of Two Springs. He has a company called DimDoc, with which he produces films. In his films and journalistic work he focuses on the unknown stories behind the news, in which he mainly want to show the perceptions of his protagonists.
  • Ahmed Najm is the director of Metrography, the first and only photo agency in Iraq. He is a photographer and safety trainer and has trained various photographers during the first battles with ISIS. He organizes an annual photo exhibition that takes place in five cities in Iraq, including in Mosul.
  • Nancy Ezzeddine is trained in economics and development. She is a junior researcher at Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit. Her work focuses on understanding the impact of paramilitary groups on the political economy of Iraq and Libya. She previously worked as a consultant for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies.
  • Razzaq K. Mansoor Al-Seedi is the First Secretary of the Iraqi embassy in the Netherlands

About this programme

This activity is part of the The Hague Freedom Weeks, which are held from Friday, April 12 to Friday, 10 May. More information: