a film by
PossibileFilm, RaiCinema and Lorenzo Gangarossa
in association with Start
music byVittorio Cosma
the song “Our War”
by Vittorio Cosma and Eugenio Finardi
is played by Eugenio Finardi
A US Marine veteran, an Italian anticapitalist activist, a Swedish bodyguard.
At first these three characters might have nothing in common, though they share a decision to fight the same battle. They all volunteered in the People's Protection Unit (YPG), a Kurdish militia, in northern Syria to fight the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). The documentary has original footage from the battlefield, it shows the main characters in their daily life in USA, Italy, Sweden, and it reveals how their choice affects us and our future.
Karim is 27 years old and he considers himself a communist. His mother is Moroccan and his father Italian. He concentrated on classical studies during high school. He is a chess aficionado and he loves boxing. He spent years as an activist in Italian left-wing social center and in the antiracist movement. Everything changed when he decided to participate in humanitarian aid convoy to help civilians who escaped the Syrian Civil War. He arrived at at the Turkish-Syrian border where he delivered aids in the refugee camps in Suruc, Turkey. While in Suruc, he realized he wanted to do more than helping civilians. So he decided to cross into Kobane, Syria. In January 2015 he joined the YPG while ISIS was sieging the city. In a few days he found himself on the frontline and for four months he participated in the YPG advance, arriving all the way to the Euphrates River. He was first deployed in the assault team and then as a sniper. In his four months in Syria he used his own camera to document the conflict and collected three hours of footage that he gave us for this documentary. He went back to Italy for a few months, then he returned to Syria to fight. In 2016 he published for Rizzoli, “Il Combattente” (“The Fighter”) an autobiography of his experience in Rojava.
Joshua was born in 1985 in North Carolina, United States. After high school he went to college to study sociology but quickly realized it was not for him. He joined the Marines. While in service he did three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After leaving the Corp, he changed many jobs. He also participated in "Naked and Afraid" a reality show aired by Discovery Channel. He never really got used of civilian life.
Then ISIS invaded Mosul, Iraq, where he fought just few years back. He wanted to fight again. In November 2014 he flew into Iraq and then joined the YPG in Syria. He was one of the first foreign fighters to volunteer with the Kurds. He was in Syria for nine months: he ran an armory, built bombs, drove tanks and defended villages on the frontlines. He left Syria for love, and went to Iraqi Kurdistan. There he didn't have much luck and got back to the United States with no money and a YPG flag in his pocket.
Rafael was born and raised in Sweden by Iraqi Kurdish parents
In his youth he was hotheaded. He dropped out of school to follow his passion in music and signed up for vocational school. During that same period he got engaged and had a child. Today he works as a bodyguard. He protects witness to go to trial as well as domestic abuse victims. He likes his life in Sweden.
After watching an ISIS propaganda video in which children were killed, he decided to go to Syria and fight the jihadists. It was November 2014. He was amongst the first westerners in Kobane. He went back and firth from Syria several times, and he also became commander of a tabur (combat unit) mostly composed by foreign fighters.
During his fifth trip to Syria he was arrested in Iraqi Kurdistan. He was in prison for three weeks, where he claims he never received charges for any crimes. Through his experience with the YPG he learn about his own origins and his people. Nonetheless his home is in Sweden and he plans to continue living in Stockholm. In 2016 he published with Fischer & Co: “My life at stakes”, an autobiography of his experience in Rojava.
is an independent journalist based in New York City. Since August 2014 she has been covering the Iraqi and Syrian war, with several trips on the ground. Her work has appeared on Reuters, Quartz, Corriere della Sera, and several other international publications. In 2013 she co-produced “Capulcu-Voices from Gezi”, a documentary about the revolt in Gezi Park Istanbul, Turkey, which won several awards including the Amnesty International award. In 2014 she also obtained an MA in Journalism and Politics from Columbia University in New York. Before moving to the United States, Benedetta worked as a staff writer at Corriere della Sera, the Italian leading newspaper, for which she is a regular contributor. She started her career at Mediaset, a private television in Italy.
Is a visual anthropologist and filmmaker. Since 2000 he has organized cinema festivals and worked on documentaries for NGOs. His work has been presented at the Festival della Montagna of Trento, Festival del Cinema Africano of Milan, and Cinema Ambiente of Turin. In 2008 he won the production prize of Filmmaker Festival in Milan with his documentary “Una questione Privata” (“A Private Matter”). In 2011 he was awarded the Fai prize at the Milano Film Festival with “Rinnovata la chiamò” (“Renewed Named”). In 2013 he collaborated with the artist Marinella Senatore on “Piccolo Caos” (“Little Chaos”) project. From 2012 to 2015, he collaborated with Prospekt agency. His video installation “A/R”, created together with Claudio Jampaglia, is permanently exhibited at the MUDEC (Museum of Cultures) in Milan.
Journalist, author and producer. He has worked for multiple national publications where he started as a reporter and then later became editor-in-chief. He also worked for several national and local radio as a producer and a journalist. He has contributed in News programs with Italian and International TV, such as RAI and the Canadian Broadcasting Company. He is also author of various books published by Feltrinelli and Ponte alle Grazie. Since 2010 he has been working with Prospekt agency as author and producer of reportage, video, web series and web documentaries for media, universities, publishers, museums and companies.
He’s currently covering the role of Head of International Productions and Producer for Wildside supervising all the activities on Feature Films and the International productions of the company. He has been working in the film/TV industry for more than 10 years for companies like BBC Films, Tartan and with producers like Simon Channing Williams (“The Costant Gardener”), Andrea Calderwood (“The Last King Of Scotland”) before coming back to Italy to set up the Cinema and Tv Dept. of Indiana Production where he produced and supervised production on more than 17 films including “Italy in a Day” by Oscar Winning Director Gabriele Salvatores and executive produced by Ridley Scott, “Spain in a Day” by Isabelle Coixet, “An Italian Name” by Francesca Archibugi, the Italian entries for the Academy Awards “The First Beautiful Thing” and “Human Capital” by Paolo Virzì.
Format Full HD, miniDV
Length, 68 min.
Language: English, Italian, Kurdish,Arab.
Subtitles: Italian, English.
Delivery: august 2016
Directors: Bruno Chiaravalloti, Claudio Jampaglia e Benedetta Argentieri
Protagonists: Joshua Bell, Karim Franceschi, Rafael Kardari
Produced by PossibileFilm, RaiCinema, Lorenzo Gangarossa
In association with: Start
In collaboration with: Bravagente Sound Agency,
Ala Bianca Edizioni, Music Production
Producer consultants: Minnie Ferrara, Giorgia Brianzoli
Producer in Sweden: Kovan Alshawish
Screenplay: Benedetta Argentieri, Claudio Jampaglia
Photography: Bruno Chiaravalloti
Syria footage: Karim Franceschi, Cyril Hellman, Ypg Media Center
Italy footage: Annalisa Brambilla, Matteo Finazzi
Go-Pro footage by courtesy of Rafael Kardari
Editing: Bruno Chiaravalloti, Chiara Vullo
Sound: Bruno Chiaravalloti, Claudio Jampaglia
Interviews: Benedetta Argentieri and Claudio Jampaglia
Original Soundtrack: Vittorio Cosma
The song “Our War” by Vittorio Cosma, Eugenio Finardi, performed by Eugenio Finardi
Video post-production: Riccardo Annoni, Stefano Barozzi – Start
Sound Design: Andrea Pestarino – Bravagente
Subtitles: Andrea Terradura