"One of the most memorable presences at this year Venice Film Festival" - Gioia (IT)
A searing and sobering exposé from the depths of the war against ISIS in Syria. This multi-faceted doc sheds light on the accounts of western volunteers who join Kurdish YPG forces to fight on the front lines of the most brutal armed conflict of our time.
In light of the United States' controversial plan to withdraw its troops from Syria, the threat of further destabilization in the fractured civil war remains. This daring Italian documentary provides a timely reminder of the volatile situation that continues to tear the region apart, and the complex makeup of the Kurdish-led coalition, which includes experienced western veterans and volunteers. The film focuses on the stories of a former US Marine, an Italian anti-capitalist activist, and a Swedish bodyguard -- all of whom volunteered to join People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Rojava, a region under Kurdish control in northern Syria.
Karim, Joshua, and Rafael left their families and their lives to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) on the ground. As the three candidly discuss their experience as fighters, and tell the stories of comrades killed on the battlefield, the kinship they feel with the Kurdish people in struggle is undeniable. Original footage from the battlefield is juxtaposed with intimate footage of their lives back home, after their service. What emerges is a social phenomenon of young westerners taking matters into their own hands, rather than joining the military and waiting for their governments to act. In a world influenced by social media and instantaneous communication, the lines between their world and a ruthless war in the Middle East have blurred.
69 Minutes | English, Italian, Kurdish and Arabic, with English Subtitles.