In the fall of 2017 Near Eastern reporter and documentarist Jana Andert set out for Mosul, then occupied by Islamic State fighters. She went on her own, without support from the foreign media for which she normally works. With the Golden Division, an elite unit of the Iraqi Army, she risked her life for eight months on the front lines of the battle. During this time she got used to gunfire and rocket explosions, experienced the detonations of suicide bombers and cars packed with explosives, and comforted families grieving their lost loved ones – men, women, and children. A shock therapy of news coverage from the war front. An unflinching report from a city in ruins, robbed of its soul by one of the worst catastrophes of modern times.
Filming in Mosul was the most difficult period of the director‘s life so far: “I will never forget it for the rest of my life, it’s impossible. I took something from there into my life, but I left something of myself behind. It’s not easy for me to cope with everything I saw and experienced there.“
International Film Festival Karlovy Vary
Jana Andert was born in Trebic, Czech Republic. She studied photography in the Netherlands and then worked as a photographer for fashion designers. Her photographs have been published in various international media, including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Meanwhile, she studied psychology and worked as a volunteer social worker for refugees. She worked as a journalist and photographer in the war in Syria (2015) and spent eight months in Iraq following the elite Golden Division unit in the battle for Mosul (2017). From these experiences, she created a feature-length documentary war report for cinemas Inside Mosul.