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Sabaya

Sabaya

The Mayor of Gdynia Award; The City of Poznań Freedom Award

With a mobile phone and a gun, Mahmud, Ziyad and their group risk lives trying to save Yazidi women being held by ISIS as sex slaves in a camp in Syria.

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Guarded by Kurdish forces, over 70,000 ISIS supporters are locked up in the Al-Hol Camp in northeastern Syria. Considered the most dangerous camp in the Middle East, it is situated amidst a volatile political and military reality where ISIS is still omnipresent. Five years ago, Daesh killed thousands of Yazidis in the Sinjar province of Iraq and abducted thousands of Yazidi women and girls to be held and sold as sex slaves – called Sabaya.In this film, Mahmud, Ziyad and other volunteers from the Yazidi Home Center rescue the Sabaya,who are still being held by ISIS in the camp. Often accompanied by female infiltrators – some of them former Sabaya – and armed with nothing but an old mobile phone and a small gun, they travel to the camp in an inconspicuous van. Once there, mostly by night, they must act extremely quickly to avoid potential violence.

In this observational film, directed, shot and edited by acclaimed Swedish/Kurdish director Hogir Hirori, we experience first-hand the strong contrast between the tense situation in the camp and the comfort of daily life at home.

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  • projection time:
    95 min.
  • country/year:
    Sweden / 2021
  • director:
    Hogir Hirori
  • pictures:
    Hogir Hirori
  • production:
    Antonio Russo Merenda / Ginestra Film
  • awards :
    2021 – Sundance FF: World Documentary Directing Award, 2021 – CPH: DOX Copenhagen.

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