LONDON: Fear is a powerful ally for the female fighters battling Daesh in Olivia Wilde’s new documentary.
Daesh “believe if they’re killed by a woman they don’t go to heaven, they go to hell. It’s an insult to them, to be killed by women,” says Hanna Bohman in the opening lines of “Fear Us Women,” which was released this month in the US.
The film tells the story of 48-year-old Bohman, a former model and biker who left Canada in 2015 to join the YPJ, the all-female division of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
“I was wondering … there must be a way for people to volunteer to fight against ISIS (Daesh),” Bohman says in the opening scenes.
Research led her to the YPJ, an all-woman army fighting in the Middle East.
“It’s women protecting women … I wanted to be a part of them,” she says in the film.
Speaking to Arab News, Bohman described the inspiration she found fighting alongside the women of the YPJ. “I continue to be in awe of their commitment and fearlessness and find myself wondering where these women are in the West?”
Scenes shot in the desert show Bohman on duty as a sniper and camped out in a sandbag bunker. “You have to be able to lie in the dirt and the heat all day. Camel spiders walking on you,” she tells viewers.
by Olivia Cuthbert