From left: Deputy Editor Kasia Anderson, Nick Quested, Sebastian Junger and Truthdig columnist Jordan Riefe.

The Syrian civil war, now in its seventh year, has created more than 12 million refugees and given rise to innumerable stories of political and personal turmoil. A new documentary, “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS,” delves into the conflict and its effect on the Syrian people. Co-directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sebastian Junger and Emmy-winning producer Nick Quested, the documentary’s harrowing footage stunned audiences at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

On Friday, Truthdig Deputy Editor Kasia Anderson and Truthdig columnist Jordan Riefe sat down with Junger and Quested to discuss the film. Watch the full conversation below:

Junger and Quested explained how to know which sources are trustworthy when it comes to reporting on Syria, and also discussed how U.S. foreign policy factored in to the Syrian conflict.

“Some of the strategies we’ve been decrying in other nations, we may have done ourselves,” Anderson argued at one point in the discussion.

The group also discussed terrorist attacks, and Quested noted that the recent wave of “lone-wolf attacks” are “not a new philosophy.”

Junger and Quested also answered a user question about the White Helmets.

Watch past editions of “Live at Truthdig” here, and take a look at the trailer for “Hell on Earth” below:

—Posted by Emma Niles


You know the story. Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media. During this holiday season, you can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearth what's really happening- without compromise. Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.

As always, we wish you truth, reason and the best of the season!