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‘City of Ghosts’ Director Matthew Heineman Says His Documentary Subjects From Syria Are Affected By Trump Muslim Ban — Sundance 2017

Heineman, whose film premiered last week at Sundance, spoke out against Donald Trump's executive order restricting immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.

city of ghosts

“City of Ghosts”

Courtesy of Sundance

“City of Ghosts” director Matthew Heineman is speaking out against the executive order President Donald Trump signed Friday restricting visits and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. Heineman’s documentary premiered a week ago at the Sundance Film Festival and focuses on a group of anonymous citizen journalists who banded together after their homeland was overtaken by ISIS.

READ MORE: Iraq Filmmaker Protests Trump Muslim Ban, Withdraws Visa Application to Attend Miami Film Festival

Trump’s executive order “bans deserving, persecuted Syrian refugees from gaining asylum in the United States for the foreseeable future and senselessly compounds an enormous human tragedy that I’ve witnessed firsthand in making my film,” Heineman wrote in an emailed statement to IndieWire. “It is in stark contrast to the traditions of our nation, which from colonial times forward, has been built by refugees fleeing persecution.”

Though Heineman said he’s never posted anything “political” on social media before, Trump’s executive order prompted the director to post the below message on Facebook Saturday.

READ MORE: Academy Responds to Impact of Muslim Ban on Nominee Asghar Farhadi: ‘Extremely Troubling’

Amazon finalized a deal to purchase the rights to “City of Ghosts” for more than $2 million on Friday. Heineman is a Sundance regular who won the festival’s Directing Award last year for “Cartel Land,” about the drug problem on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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