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by Antonia Kilian


19 year-old Hala escapes an arranged marriage by crossing the Euphrates River to find a newhome at a Kurdish Women’s Protection Unit -a unit which soon after liberates her hometown of Minbij from the Islamic State. For her female fellow soldiers, the enemy is not just IS, but patriarchy in general, with forced marriage as the ultimate oppressive institution. The brutalities these young women have experienced at the hands of their husbands and within their own families lead them to the other side of the river where they are trained in combat and educated in the feminist ideals of the Kurdish Women’s Movement.Hala is deeply inspired by these teachings and resolutely dedicates herself to the promise of not only freeing more women, but also liberating her sisters at all costs. Yet is there still space for freedom and even love in Hala’s life when her mission is all-consuming?

original title: The Other Side of the River
country: Germany, Finland
year: 2021
genre: documentary
directed by: Antonia Kilian
film run: 91'
screenplay: Antonia Kilian, Guevara Namer, Arash Asadi
cinematography by: Antonia Kilian
film editing: Arash Asadi
music: Shkoon
producer: Frank Müller, Antonia Kilian, Guevara Namer, Merja Ritola
production: Doppelplusultra Filmproduktion GmbH, Pink Shadow Films, Greenlit Productions

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