Skip to Content
Iraq’s Lost Generation cover image

Iraq’s Lost Generation 2021


Distributed by Docuseek2
Produced by Fabienne Servan-Schreiber and Estelle Mauriac
Directed by Anne Poiret
Streaming, 52 mins

College - General Adult
Children; International Relations; Iraq War

Date Entered: 01/16/2024

Reviewed by Michael A. LaMagna, Associate Professor & Reference Librarian, Delaware County Community College, Media, PA

Often overlooked in the discussion in the war on terror is what happened to the most vulnerable especially children. Iraq’s Lost Generation examines what happened to the hundred thousand children who were either children of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters, those who joined ISIS as children with the promise of money, food and other goods, or those orphaned by the war. These children are stigmatized and not accepted in post-ISIS Iraq. These children have no legal status in the country, no documents to prove who they are, and as a result are unable to integrate in society and participate in the activities of any child including attending school.

This documentary follows this story first in the Mosul region, then in Iraqi Kurdistan, and finally in Northeastern Syria. The complex picture of what should happen to these children becomes clear through interviews with children, mothers, humanitarian aid workers, and government officials. Many in Iraqi society have not forgotten the conflict that ISIS fighters brought to Mosul and will not fully take their children back into their community. Those in the Yazidi community are not willing to accept those children born to women who were raped by ISIS fighters. While many will see the need for reconciliation, the picture become more complicated when children and mothers were interviewed who were living in the Al-Hol camp in Syria. These children and their mothers still pledge allegiance to ISIS.

It is clear that those children who are in re-education, rehabilitation, or refugee campus that the bleak living conditions will not change in the immediate future and their long-term future will likely be devoid of opportunities. Ultimately, this film ends with the poignant message that the conditions these children are living in and the fact that society will not accept them will result in these children joining other terrorist organizations and networks.

This film is well produced and offers a unique perspective on the war on terror and the experience of children in post-ISIS Iraq. This film is recommended for any library collection specifically those supporting international studies, political science, humanitarian studies, and psychology. Given the 52-minute running time, this film will offer a great discussion of topics related to war and terrorism on vulnerable populations. For those planning on using this film as part of a course, it should be noted, the content may be difficult to watch given the impact of war on children.

2023 International Emmy Award-winner

Published and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Anyone can use these reviews, so long as they comply with the terms of the license.