"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 multifaceted doc brings sheds light on the accounts of western volunteers who join the YPG forces to fight at the bloody fronts of perhaps our time's most brutal armed conflict.
In light of the United State's controversial plan to depart from Syria, the threat of further destabilization has become imminent. This daring Italian doc provides a timely reminder of the volatile situation still tearing the region apart and the complex makeup of the Kurdish-led coalition, diversified by the influx of western volunteers, many of which are experienced army veterans. It focuses on the stories of an American former Marine, an Italian anti-capitalist activist and a Swedish bodyguard; all had volunteered to join the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Rojava, a region under Kurdish control in northern Syria. Karim, Joshua and Rafael are foreign fighters, they left their families and their lives to go on the ground and fight the Islamic State (ISIS). Original footage from the battlefield is juxtapositioned with intimate footage of their impacted lives back home, following their service. As the three candidly discuss their experience as fighters, and recount of comrades who were killed on the battlefield, they share a remarkable kinship with the Kurdish struggle. What emerges is a dramatic social phenomenon which sees young westerners taking matters into their own hands, rather than joining the military and waiting for their governments to act. Their motivations may differ, but in a world influenced by social media and instantaneous communications, the lines between their world and the ruthless war in the Middle East became inextricably blurred.
69 Minutes | English, Italian, Kurdish and Arabic, with English Subtitles.