Hot Docs 2018 – Commander Arian – A Story of Women, War and Freedom (Germany/Spain/Syria 2018) ***

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Directed by Alba Sotorra


The Commander Arian of the film title is a 30-year-old female fighter of the Kurdish Resistance (YPJ ).  The aim of this group of women is to free villages captured by ISIS who treat women, in Arian’s own words, less than the worth of a piece of fabric.  Her aim is also to promote the woman’s cause – beyond marriage and making love.  Director Sotorra’s film is in two parts.  The first shows Arian in convalescence, after wounded by 5 bullets.  She speaks candidly of her goals, aspirations and her work. The film flashes back earlier to show her commanding her troops in the unending battle against the ISIS.  The film hails the conquering hero and Arian demands the respect she works for.  She is also shown in her weakness when her body is hurting and at her strengths when she is inspiring her soldiers.  To Arian, death must be worth the fight.  The film shows many candid battle scenes.  A solid documentary that is both eye-opening and disturbing.

Short Clip:



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