Sabaya

Hogir Hirori

Dutch premiere

Real-life thriller about a group of volunteers freeing Yazidi women and girls out of IS captivity. With the help of women who have infiltrated, Mahmoud and Ziyad carry out dangerous rescue operations. Once out, the women and girls face the hard task of trying to heal again.

When IS attacked the Sinjar province in northern Iraq in 2014, thousands of Yazidi women and girls were kidnapped. They were forced to convert to Islam and held as sex slaves. Many of these women and girls – whom IS calls ‘Sabaya’ – are held in the Al-Hol camp in Syria, where 73.000 IS supporters reside. The camp is guarded by Kurdish forces, but largely controlled by IS.

Mahmud and Ziyad work for the Yazidi Home Center, an NGO which rescues women and girls from the camp. Guided by information from infiltrators – extremely brave former ‘Sabaya’s’ who went back into the camp – they go in at night, sometimes literally dodging bullets. At Mahmud’s house, the freed women find a shelter in a homely atmosphere, with Mahmud’s wife Siham and his mother Zahra taking care of them. Now they have to start dealing with their trauma and try to give their life new meaning again.

Credits

Director
Hogir Hirori
Producer
Antonio Russo Merenda, Hogir Hirori
Year
2021
Country of production
Sweden
Type
Documentary
Duration
90 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, Kurdish
Subtitles
NL
Production company
Lolav Media, Ginestra Film
World Sales
Dogwoof
Dutch distributor
Cinema Delicatessen