Cleveland International Film Festival } March 30 – April 10, 2022

The Return: Life After Isis

Year: 2021
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

On Demand

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

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

Women of the World

ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition


Alba Sotorra Clua

Alba Sotorra Clua, Vesna Cudic, Carles Torras

Lara Vilanova, Gris Jordana, Núria Roldós

Michael Nollet, Xavi Carrasco

Film Contact

Community Partners

Literary Cleveland

Writers in Residence

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