The Women ISIS Fears

Documentary
Runtime: 42 min 16 sec
Director: Halkawt Mustafa

In northern Syria we meet Vian (21). Vian is a captain in the Kurdish female militia YPJ. She’s a markswoman with considerable experience from the frontline fighting Islamic State.
– The terrorists are scared of female soldiers. They think they will go to hell if they are killed by a woman, says Vian with a subtle smile. Vian is her warrior name. It means love. But don’t be fooled by the name. She has killed one hundred IS-fighters.
– They also fear us because they know how we fight: We attack with joy. We are fearless.

But her courage comes with a high cost. She has been shot three times, and she has lost many of her friends. But nevertheless she vows she will never give up.

Vian is the commanding officer at an all-female training base close to the frontline. This documentary gives a rare insight into the everyday life at the base. The surprises are many. Few will guess what the young girls do before they go to the front to fight.

In neighboring Iraq we meet Kurdish-Norwegian Bahar Munzir (42). She is a Norwegian citizen, born in the Kurdistan-region in northern Iraq. She is fighting the same enemy as Vian, but in a different way. Bahar has been a women’s activist for more than 20 years. That also comes with a price; she has faced numerous death threats.

Now her main focus is combating the fanatics in Islamic State, a battle that has brought upon a striking change in Bahar. She used to be a well-known opponent of all weapons, but now she organizes weapon training courses for women.
– The terrorists are close. We need to know what to do if they come to our city, she says, before accurately firing her AK-47.
– If they come here, we have to kill them, she says in perfect Norwegian, knowing full well that some Norwegian extremists are fighting alongside the enemy.

Common for both Vian and Bahar is a true belief that they are not fighting just for themselves. They are fighting for all the women in the world. They have a clear message to the West:
– We need to stop IS here. Or else they will come to you.

In this film we follow Bahar as she engages in several civil activities in her battle against IS. Her frustration builds up and she decides to venture upon a dangerous journey to meet Vian and her soldiers in Syria. The two powerful feminists finally get to meet and to exchange views on how to continue their fight, both against IS, but also against suppression of women in general. But in this war-torn area you never know when or where the next attack will come. Suddenly, IS militants are getting closer, and Bahar must flee the base into the dark night.

Film Fest Webteam

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