I was looking forward to this. World headlines over the last few years have catalogued the continuing terrorist atrocities of Daesh (ISIS) against the West but how much does the average Westerner understand the Hell on Earth created by ISIS in their self styled Caliphate where at one point 8 million human beings lived under their theocratic jackboot . ISIS portrayed themselves as heroic defenders of the Sunni faith and with the Shia majority in Iraq and Shia minority in Syria making things difficult for the average Sunni in these two countries ISIS was quickly seen as Sunni saviours hence innocent men , women and their children flocked to this new found society. Very quickly the inhabitants found out that while they weren't going to be tortured and murdered for being Sunnis they could be tortured and murdered for countless other reasons such as smoking cigarettes or rejecting forced marriage
If nothing else I had hoped THE STATE would show this misery to a wider audience but my heart started sinking that it was written and directed by Peter Kosminsky , a writer/director of social issues and current affairs I once had a lot of respect for but who blew it by making a "Based on a true story" drama called NO CHILD OF MINE. As it turned out the "truth" involved a composite character whose ordeal of child sex abuse was on a constant daily basis by literally every adult she knew and it quickly stopped becoming real in any way and was pulled by several regional broadcasters at the last moment . This obscene sensationalism might have destroyed other film makers careers but since Kosminsky is the type of broadcaster lauded by the Islington dinner party mob it didn't hurt his career in the slightest, Nevertheless I gave THE STATE a chance because I have visited the Middle East a couple of times and you can't give a dog like ISIS a bad enough name but even so I wasn't expecting much
As it turned out THE STATE didn't even meet my low expectations. It's produced as a "disillusionment drama" but does not work on any dramatic or factually logical level . Set in 2015 a handful of Brits head to Syria to live in the caliphate. Let's think about this for a moment . In 2015 the ISIS stronghold had been established for a year and daily horror stories had made world headlines , not least aid workers , journalists and prisoners of war being beheaded . It seems these thinly written cyphers must be the only people in the Universe who are unaware of the barbarity of ISIS. Oh and one of these idealists off to fight for ISIS just happens to be a white former squaddie from Scotland. As one of the characters points out "He might be a spy" and this is why ISIS wouldn't be accepting Western former soldiers with combat experience , though of course the Kurds of the YPG and Peshmerga would accept him . Indeed several hundred brave and noble Westerners , some with military experience , some without have fought in the various Kurdish militias and some of them have paid the ultimate price for their courage in fighting for radical democracy in a region of the World needing democratic values
Kosminsky claims he went to extensive lengths in interviewing former ISIS fighters. I don't doubt he did but you have to ask yourself if a former Jihadist is capable of telling the truth. Put it this way - if you've spent a couple of years breaking every international military and humanitarian law and are now in a jail somewhere are you really going to tell the truth that you've been raping kids and murdering civilians ? The induction for ISIS 2014-17 involves the mass murder of captured prisoners , a fact easily researchable via Google. This fact isn't propaganda. To watch THE STATE you'd think these Jihadists naively joined Daesh in the same way someone naively volunteered to operate the gas chambers at Nazi death camps , and like Nuremberg no one denied that genocide and mass atrocities had taken place "but I personally wasn't responsible for any of that" Yeah right
As I write this in the late Summer of 2017 the self styled caliphate of ISIS is about to become extinct and consigned to history. Hopefully the career of Peter Kosminsky in about to follow suit and if you want to educate yourself on the horrors of theocracy please read up on it via the countless articles and books on the subject and give this ridiculous so called drama a miss
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