Available worldwide
Until June 18th at 11:59 pm
We’ve extended the screening window, watch anytime until June 18th


Renowned artist Francis Alÿs, mesmerizes us with a unique visual poem. The story focuses on the captivating children of Nerkzlia, a tiny mountain village near Mosul, Iraq, and their discovery of their country’s history. “Once upon a time the Land was for everyone (…) there was no inside and no outside (…) Until the day oil came out of the land and everyone wanted part of it.” From those ambitions came the roots of dystopia: the secret 1916 Sykes-Pikot Agreement where the French and English divided vast territories of the Ottoman Empire between themselves, literally drawing lines in the sand. The children’s playful innocence (and initial ignorance) is aptly juxtaposed with their own, often humorous, re-enactments of the consequences of colonialism in Iraq and the transition to coups, dictatorships and the American led invasions in 2003 and 2011. What do these role-playing games of historical tragedy reveal about these children’s potential to forge a brighter future? This historical awareness (that transcends the Iraqi context) is not only theirs, it must be ours.


Francis Alÿs



Bonus Content

CIES 2022 - Trailer
2 mins

Cinematic Spaces of Education Film Festivalette Trailer

Francis Alys
4 mins

Director of SANDLINES, THE STORY OF HISTORY To make the bonus material available, the virtual cinema requires that you watch the film first.