Leila Mustapha is Kurdish and Syrian. Her fight is Raqqa, the former capital of the Islamic state of three hundred thousand inhabitants, reduced to a field of ruin after the war. An engineer by training, mayor at just 30 years old, immersed in a human world, her mission is to rebuild her city, to reconcile, and to establish democracy there. An extraordinary mission. A French writer crosses Iraq and Syria to meet her. In this still dangerous city, she has 9 days to live with Leila and tell her story in a book.
- Ibrahim Maalouf
- TASKOVSKI FILMS
- ALOEST PRODUCTIONS
It is difficult to know how much we can tell in a story. How far we can go without shocking the audience too much. Testimony can be very difficult to hear. But I choose not to avoid showing the suffering on one condition: that the entire film be a response.
Born in the Paris region, Xavier de Lauzanne studied hospitality before setting up hotel training courses for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Martinique, Vietnam and then in Cambodia. Passionate about images, he bought his first digital camera in 1999 to shoot in Vietnam a documentary essay, HANOI ENTRE DEUX 14 JUILLET (1999) on a rickshaw during the turn of the century. It was by meeting the founders of the association Pour Un Sourire D'Enfant (PSE) in Cambodia, for which he shot a publicity film, that he first directed a feature. In 2000, he made his first documentary film RETOUR SUR LA RC4 (2000) in Vietnam on French and Vietnamese veterans of the Indochina War. In order to obtain the means to edit this film, he created with François -Hugues de Vaumas, the production company Aloest Productions. Deeply touched by the people he encountered during his travels, he officially started to make committed independent, human interest documentary films. Other documentaries of his include D’UNE SEULE VOIX (2009, Platinium Award at the WordFest-Houston IFF), ENFANTS VALISES (2013), and THE LITTLE GEMS (2016, Best Documentary at COLCOA French FF). His latest film 9 DAYS AT RAQQA (2020) was an official selection at Cannes FF and Rome FF.