Commander Arian is part of the YPJ, Women’s Protection Units, the all-female army fighting in
Syria for women’s freedom against the most patriarchal and brutal enemy of all: ISIS. Having
been hit by 5 bullets, now as she struggles to recover, she looks back on her last mission to
liberate the city of Kobane from its three-year- long siege under ISIS.
The film is built in two layers: the past, where director Alba Sotorra follows Commander Arian
for months across the barren plains of Syrian countryside on her last mission, throwing us into
the day-to- day life of YPJ fighters on the frontline, and the present, where Commander Arian
fights to recover from the visible and the invisible wounds of war, far away from her comrades.
For Arian and her comrades, war is a path to emancipation from a deeply patriarchal society.
As they launch a military operation to end the siege, we discover these female fighters’ lives;
their sacrifices, their dreams and their ideals, along the road to Kobane, where they will
ultimately arrive as liberators. Yet freedom and emancipation comes at a high price for
everybody. Arian has survived, but like many other wounded comrades, she will have to find
new ways to fight for women’s freedom after years at war.