Islamism as you've never seen it before

 

What are the stories of those directly affected by the brutality of Islamic State? What must refugees forced by extremists to leave their homes contend with? And if they survive the tortuous journey, are they succeeding in assimilating in European society? One World offers some fascinating documentaries that give insight into the stories of real people and bring previously unseen footage and unexpected points of view on one of today's greatest tragedies.

These films take audiences for example to Syria, where in the powerful story of radio presenter Obaidah Zytoon they get to know a group of young Syrian liberal bohemians whose ideals come up against an unstoppable avalanche of disasters (The War Show). Obaidah finds herself first in Homs, the heart of the Syrian revolution, and like her friends, gradually becomes part of a bloody war show. The film helps us understand the fragmented Syrian opposition and thus partly the current state of the country.

Only a small percentage of Syrian refugees are trying to get into Europe. Most of them remain in countries around Syria – nearly 3 million in Turkey, 700,000 in Jordan and more than a million in Lebanon. In the latter, the political situation is already fragile, which is why in 2015 the Lebanese government decided to tighten its asylum policy. Consequently, 80% of Syrians in the country found themselves in the position of illegal immigrants. Their stories are told in the documentary Lost in Lebanon. The film will be followed by a panel debate entitled Syria – What Remains? featuring journalist Markéta Kutilová and experienced aid worker from People in Need Tomáš Kocián, one of those who founded People in Need's mission in Syria.

Meanwhile, Norwegian director Pal Refsdal in his documentary Dugma: The Button looks at Islamic radicalism from the opposite side. He managed to infiltrate the suicide bombers of Al-Nusrat Front – the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda – and capture a unique portrait of several men who were ready to blow themselves and their enemies up. They call the trigger that detonates the entire truck loaded with explosives "Dugma". We meet Abu Qaswar from Saudi Arabia, who loves fried chicken and has a beautiful singing voice, or Abu Bashir from London, who has recently had a daughter. These assassins are just ordinary guys who drink tea and admire the scent of blooming roses. This unique film could be comically bizarre – if it was not tragically real.

The conflict also does damage in Iraq. The film Nowhere to Hide tells the chilling story of Nouri al Sharif, a male nurse from the city of Jalawla in the heart of Iraq. The film dicrector gave Nouri a small camera shortly after the withdrawal of US troops in 2011, which Nouri uses to document people who have in some way been affected by the war. One lost his job, another his arm, another his family. They are slowly recovering from the war and hope that now things will turn for the better. A problem occurs when Islamic State comes to central Iraq and the cycle of violence begins anew. Now Nouri must flee with his family, but it seems there is nowhere to go.

 

Other films about this topic:

Cyberjihad

The Father, the Son and the Holy Jihad

The Empty Room

Singal, Where are You?


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