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SABAYA (2021, SYR-SWE) Movie review, plot, trailer, rating

Although the infamous Islamic State, which has controlled parts of Syria and Iraq for several years, has been defeated, a documentary made by Iraqi filmmaker Hogir Hirori, who is actually an ethnic Kurd, deals with the aftermath of the disaster. Hirori has been stationed in Sweden for a long time, but in earlier documentaries he made, he dealt with ISIL, from whose reign of terror his people suffered the most. As we find out right at the beginning of the film, the term sabaya is actually an Islamist term for sex slaves or women who were taken into slavery by these lunatics. Most of these unfortunates are Yazidis, ethnic Kurdish communities mostly located in the area of ​​northwestern Iraq occupied by ISIL.

Yazidis have a specific religion, they are neither Muslims nor Christians, but their belief has its roots in ancient Zoroastrianism, which is why these terrorists considered them heretics, Satanists. When they occupied the area where they lived, they killed the men and turned the women they captured into sex slaves. Although the film starts while the protagonists on the radio listen to the proclamation that ISIL has been defeated in Syria, we understand that the war is not over for them. It soon becomes clear to us that these protagonists are members of a humanitarian organization who set themselves the task of freeing a number of detained Yazidi women from a camp located near the town of Al-Hol in northeastern Syria. More than 70,000 former Islamic State supporters were crammed into the Kurdish army-guarded camp. Of course, the worst scum was killed and thrown into prisons, but many unfortunates are still alive, abducted and hidden in that camp.

That is why the two main characters of this shocking, shocking and brutal documentary set themselves the task of rescuing as many women and girls as possible from the hands of ISIL. The only way to rescue the prisoners from that camp is infiltration, so they have to find girls willing to voluntarily enter Al-Hol to find out exactly where the abducted Yazidis are. Of course, this is an extremely dangerous and difficult task because despite the fact that Al-Hol actually functions as a camp guarded by the Kurdish army, it is a place where people still live by the rules that prevailed during the Islamic State. And it all seems completely unreal, annoying, and “Sabaya” is one of those documentaries in which the author does not interfere in the story at all, but only records what is happening around him.

A good portion of the film was also filmed with hidden cameras used by Hirori or one of his team as they entered the camp, and the stories we hear from girls and women who have been released are literally freezing blood in their veins. It will never be clear to me how it is possible that there are such savages, fanatics, sick people with completely disturbed brains. So obsessed with religion or whatever that they are capable of doing such atrocities to other people. On the other hand, the story of two brave people, Mahmoud and Ziyad running the Yazidi Home Center, is one of those great and amazing stories of courage, but also of a horrific humanitarian tragedy that continues. Thus, in the title of the film that won a handful of awards at world festivals, and was chosen as the Swedish documentary of the year, we learn that this organization released more than 200 women from captivity, a quarter of whom gave birth to children in captivity. we learn that more than two thousand abducted Yazidis turned into sex slaves, sold, tortured, beaten and raped by these abominations are still considered missing and their fates are unknown. Rating 8/10.


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