DAESH Deserters Speak Out

Photo courtesy of: arte.tv
by Luke Rajczuk

A daring film from directors duo Thomas Dandois and Francois-Xavier Tregan, screened at Filmhouse Cinema Edinburgh this week as part of the Beyond Borders Film Festival 2016 edition.

Audience sat there, watched, never sighed, laughed, clapped or expressed noticeable emotion.

The picture opens with a flock of birds dancing in the sky above a Syrian city of Raqqa, and it isn’t a happy dance but a rather dull, uncollected and disharmonious flotation in its quietly disturbing pace.

Photo: arte.tv
Photo: arte.tv

The deserters’ identity remains undisclosed throughout the entire documentary but they say things, disturbing things and don’t sound like your Michael Moore’s shock jock style show-offs. They sound serious, scared, collected, detailed and remind of some sort of ex-soldiers.

Deserter’s voice: “In DAESH everyone is a spy, they must spy on each other.”

ISIS, ISIL, IS or most currently DAESH, which stands foral-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham’ (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is currently the largest terrorist army in the world. Structured, financed and international, according to the film.

Deserter’s voice: “In one of the recruiting safe-houses I felt like at an airport. Everyone spoke a different language.”

It exposes, for example, how much the Islamic State soldiers are paid, how they live and whether they’d be willing to detonate themselves in one of the western capitols. Yes, capitols would be the main areas of interest for the leaders of this unjust setup.

‘Daesh Deserters’ (French title: Daech, paroles de déserteurs) is a production from MEMENTO, and ARTE GEIE and it’s a confident set of confessions from defectors who were saved or ‘exfiltrated’ by the Free Syrian Army.

Luke Rajczuk
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Luke Rajczuk

Editor at reviewsphere
Journalist, editor and filmmaker
Luke Rajczuk
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