Gates of Aleppo

  • Wolfswift, Georg Hobmeier, Joshua Hollendonner
  • Austria, Syria
  • 2020
  • 8 min
  • Digital
  • International Premiere
  • DocLab: Liminal Reality, IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

The Battle of Aleppo was one of the bloodiest conflicts in the continuing war in Syria. Tens of thousands of people died in the fighting in the period from 2012 to 2016, and hundreds of thousands lost their homes. Much of Syria’s largest city lay in ruins. Gates of Aleppo transports you back to scenes from that time. The Austrian designers Georg Hobmeier and Joshua Hollendonner made the game with “Wolfswift”. For their own protection, Wolfswift must remain anonymous.

This minimalist computer game puts you in the heartbreaking position of the ordinary inhabitants of the city. Use the four arrows and “Action” button to maneuver yourself around this city—rendered in simple lines in what plays like a classic 8-bit game. From your top-down perspective, you guide someone on what at first sight seem like simple missions: the first instruction is “Go to work.” But the city is riddled with snipers, so any misstep can be fatal. Daily life has become a deadly game.


  • 8 min
  • Spoken languages: English
Wolfswift, Georg Hobmeier, Joshua Hollendonner
gold extra, Causa Creations
Screening copy
Georg Hobmeier

IDFA history

International Premiere
DocLab: Liminal Reality
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

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IDFA history

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