The streets of Sinjar are deserted. A barbershop is in ruins, the mirror shattered, the clippers broken. Mannequins in a women’s fashion store hang bare and spattered. Shots of the devastated city in the Kurdish autonomous region are accompanied by a soundtrack simulating a vibrant community. This is how it must have sounded in the past. Will things ever be the way they were before?
Reality and fiction blend in stories of the inhabitants of the cities of Sinjar, Kobani, and Jazaa—destroyed by IS, recaptured by Kurdish fighters—in the autonomous region of Rojava: those who died, those who survived, and those who continue the fight.
The Rojava Film Commune was established after IS was driven out of the region. Its members are experienced filmmakers and students, many of whom experienced the war first-hand. While setting up the collective, they immediately made this first film, using what was available: their own experiences, ruins, and local actors and extras. The film itself became part of the reconstruction.