The film, which had its world premiere in the International Competition section at Visions du Réel, will have a theatrical release in Canada through Maison 4:3.
In the film, director Zaynê Akyol talks to imprisoned members of the Islamic State, alternating their words with aerial views of the countryside. It is “an unexpected look at a far-reaching current political issue, and a film whose subject matter and rhythm create an impressive cinematic object,” Andana stated.
Mariam Zaidi at Hot Docs said: “The Syrian Democratic Forces, mostly Kurdish, as well as the international coalition, have succeeded in dislodging the Islamic State from their last stronghold and ending their project of establishing a caliphate in Syria. Today, thousands of Islamic State members, along with their wives and children, end up in prisons and camps under the supervision of the Kurds.
“With extraordinary access, we travel through Syria and inside makeshift prisons, where detainees speak candidly about their motivations, experiences and loyalties, offering an incredible range of perspectives on the formation, rise and defeat of the Islamic State.”
The film is produced by Audrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre and Sylvain Corbeil at Metafilms in Canada.
Akyol’s first feature documentary “Gulîstan, Land of Roses” was screened at Visions du Réel in 2016, as well as in many other festivals, including Locarno, Hot Docs and Dok Leipzig, and was awarded many times including the Doc Alliance Selection Prize at Locarno.