Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

The Return: Life After Isis

Year: 2021
Language: English
Run Time: 90 minutes

The Return: Life After Isis
The Return: Life After Isis

After the last ISIS holdout was defeated in Syria, thousands of surrendered ISIS women and children remained. Western governments refused to repatriate them, leaving the local administration to decide the fate of the over 50,000 abandoned people. The world has labeled them terrorists, but a group of Kurdish women's rights activists disagrees. Believing these women to be victimized, they enter ISIS detainment camps to conduct rehabilitation programs and advocate for their return home. THE RETURN: LIFE AFTER ISIS enters the Roj Detention Camp in northern Syria, which houses 1,500 women and children from 56 nations. The documentary observes six women, all former residents of the Islamic State lured by ISIS propaganda, over two years as they attempt to return to their respective countries despite repeated refusals. As the women deprogram, process their trauma, and plan their futures, they lean on each other in their fight to provide their children better lives. This compassionate documentary incites deep introspection and challenges popular thinking on women's roles in terrorist organizations and finding a path to redemption. — R.R.

CIFF45 Screenings

CIFF45 Streams On Demand

Thursday, April 08, 2021 at 11:00 AM -
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Streams Access: United States and US Territories
Accessibility (?)
Closed Captions: No
Audio Description: No
English Subtitles: No

Women of the World

Reel Women Direct Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition


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Alba Sotorra Clua, Vesna Cudic, Carles Torras

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Michael Nollet, Xavi Carrasco

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