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Exclusive: Trailer for '#chicagoGirl,' A Documentary About Social Media & The Syrian Revolution

by Katie Walsh
November 13, 2013 11:35 AM
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"#chicagoGirl -- The Social Network Takes On a Dictator."
"#chicagoGirl -- The Social Network Takes On a Dictator."

Today we've got an exclusive look at the trailer for "#chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes on A Dictator," a documentary that captures the involvement of an American teenage girl with the revolution in Syria, made possible by the internet and social media. 19-year-old Ala'a organizes demonstrations, protests and helps to broadcast images of what's happening on the ground in Syria, all from her bedroom in Chicago. Though she's removed from the action, threats start to infiltrate her world, as we can see in the trailer. 

The film is directed by Joe Piscatella, produced by Mark Rinehart, and features footage from Syria that had to be smuggled out on hard drives, due to the media blackouts. One cameraman, Bassel Shahade, lost his life in the process of capturing these images to show the rest of the world what's going on in the country. The film looks to be a gripping, thrilling account of this new kind of revolution, where the revolutionaries are armed with digital cameras and social networks. 

"#chicagoGirl" is premiering at IDFA in Amsterdam on November 21st. Here's the official synopsis, and check out the trailer below. 

From her childhood bedroom in the Chicago suburbs, an American teenage girl uses social media to run the revolution in Syria.  Armed with Facebook, Twitter, Skype and cameraphones, she helps her social network "on the ground" in Syria brave snipers and shelling in the streets to show the world the human rights atrocities of a brutal dictator.  But just because the world can see the violence doesn’t mean the world can help.  As the revolution rages on, everyone in the network must decide what is the most effective way to fight a dictator:  social media or AK-47s.  

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  • Paul | April 20, 2014 8:22 AMReply

    A great eye opener to what's happening in Syria. It is really good that this film has been shown in poland and in other countries because when I watch news there is nothing about Syria, only Ukraine. This film made it possible for me to learn something about the situation in Syria. It is sad that the West is not doing anything. I hope that everything will change in a short time.

  • Agnes | April 2, 2014 4:53 PMReply

    This great documentary taught me about the importance of revolution. It's a great film to learn about the Syrian Revolution. The film isn't about Ala. Its about a group of great teenagers that helped in the uprising.

  • David | March 5, 2014 9:00 PMReply

    My family and I have just recently watched this documentary. Its a hit in Norway, and we do our best to share the important work Alaa is doing along with our friends.

  • Rana | February 11, 2014 3:25 PMReply

    I can't believe how disgusted I was the moment I watched the trailer. Posting videos and news on facebook and twitter makes you hero and leader of a revolution?
    I have friends who left the USA, put their lives in danger to enter Syria. Most of them are dead now. Those are the real heroes - not a fake social media, attention starving teenagers!!! The real heros are those in Syria, not in US! absolutely disgusting

  • Zack | January 19, 2014 6:20 PMReply

    Fascinating stories. I didn't know much about the Syrian Revolution before this doc.

  • Ahmed | December 4, 2013 9:55 PMReply

    R.E.S.P.E.C.T .

  • Leslie H | December 3, 2013 12:13 PMReply

    I saw the documentary yesterday in Amsterdam and I just wanted to say I am very impressed and inspired by Alaa, Basel, and Aous. The documentary really opened up a lot of eyes, it is so ridiculous the garbage that is put in the news and newspapers and leaves out important news like this, it's unbelievable.. I wish the Syrian people the best of luck.

  • Deno | December 1, 2013 9:09 PMReply

    Best film I've watched at IDFA this year!!!

  • Ayat Achmar | November 30, 2013 6:21 PMReply

    Alaa is a great person she has been helping since the start of the revo

  • Natasha Gobin | November 27, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    Impressive film a must see

  • Izzy | November 27, 2013 8:40 AMReply

    Lovely movie go see it at IDFA.

  • Pamela | November 27, 2013 12:22 AMReply

    I pray to God that my children will grow up and become successful as this young lady

  • Rami | November 26, 2013 1:59 PMReply

    Great documentary, viva Syria and the revolution.

  • Danny | November 26, 2013 11:41 AMReply

    I just can't believe how jealous people can be, leave the girl alone.

  • Rima | November 26, 2013 11:40 AMReply

    She's a real hero, syria should be proud of her.

  • Nina | November 23, 2013 12:52 AMReply

    You are a sad person crying for attention. You haven't started any revolution or opened anyone's eyes. Go fight there and put your life in the line like the Syrian people there. Your no hero.

  • Dana | November 19, 2013 5:06 PMReply

    LooooooL.. She is leading a revolution in Syria!!!!!! How pathetic.
    She is starving for attention & wants to be famous..
    All my Syrian friends who support the Syrian revolution received death threats from psychos on FB and twitter. That doesn't make them heros. The real heros are those who are facing death every single moment on syrian grounds.
    Grow up girl & find urself another hobby.

  • Manal | November 19, 2013 9:35 AMReply

    So, I can sit on my laptop, in my cozy room, post few photos and videos from Syria, then claim that I am the leader of the revolution?
    The Syrian revolution is and will always be the greatest revolution. It is led by the free Syrians ... IN SYRIA..

  • Reem | November 18, 2013 10:19 AMReply

    She could be an activitist who worked for the revolution .. but she can't claim that she led it ?
    after all .. syrian revolution is led by the dream of freedom .. and inspired by people who were actually there and did the work .. not any one sitting on a laptop !

  • MANAL | November 19, 2013 9:31 AM

    I totally agree with you.

  • Fatima | November 18, 2013 4:01 AMReply

    She's homesick, crazy and insane, so many people will appear after the revolution to say that they were the leaders.

    Don't even look at her
    Psycho ill

  • Julan sham | November 17, 2013 11:03 AMReply

    the revolution in Syria is motivated by free , hardworking rebels that are working on Syria , there is no leader for the Syrian revolution , it started by people and it will remain motivated by them , please don't lie about this because 95 thousand people died during the revolution so far>
    إذا كنتي سورية وعم تشتغلي بالثورة أهلا وسهلا بس الثورة ما حدا بيقودها وما حدا بيتزعمها الثورة بدأت بحراك شعبي مو بحدا شغال على كمبيوترو عن بعد ، أنتي بهالطريقة عم تهيني كل شخص اشتغل فعلا بالثورة بإخلاص وبصمت..رجاء تصحيح المفهوم !!

  • shadi Syrian | November 17, 2013 10:21 AMReply

    She's a LAIR, she's not leading our revolution, her page were and still following the events on the ground.

    they destroyed every single civilian sign in Syria, and they started to call the demonstration with sectarian's names.

  • The Assyrian | November 16, 2013 12:19 PMReply

    Either way Rayis Bashar al Assad is winning the war. The Terrorist she is supporting have no chance .

  • suriya1 | December 7, 2013 10:02 AM

    God bless Bashar!

    Salafi should have stayed in the past where they beling.

  • خريان على الاسد | November 19, 2013 1:57 AM

    Shut up bitSh , f888 you and f888 Bashar

  • Bakunin | November 14, 2013 12:52 AMReply

    Kind of crazy for one girl to claim she runs the Syrian Revolution from her laptop. That entire civil war is now basically a regional conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Al Nusra Front could probably care less about who she is :p

  • Shadi Syrian | November 17, 2013 10:22 AM

    She's a LAIR, she's not leading our revolution, her page were and still following the events on the ground.

    they destroyed every single civilian sign in Syria, and they started to call the demonstration with sectarian's names.

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