The Women’s Protection Unit are the most successful fighting force opposing ISIS, follow commander Arian as she leads an operation to end the two year-long siege of Kobane, Syria.


Filmmakers: Alba Sotorra
Country: Germany, Spain, Syria
Runtime: 52', 77'
Year: 2018
Format: HD



★★★★ - Now Toronto


HotDocs Film Festival 2018

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018

DOC NYC 2018



On the barren plains of the Syrian countryside, 30 year-old military commander Arian leads her battalion of women as they fight ISIS. For her, the armed struggle is the only path to emancipation from a deeply patriarchal society. At her side, director Alba Sotorra documents the liberation of the city of Kobane and uncovers the reality of life at the frontline. Wounded by 5 bullets, Arian is forced to deal with the wounds of war, both visible and invisible, and to find new ways to fight for women’s freedom.




Alba Sotorra is an independent filmmaker and producer based in Barcelona. Her work focusses on human stories that she explores from a very personal point of view, producing films that are independent, risk-taking and engaged with today’s political, social and human conflicts. She has lived worldwide, spending long periods in the Middle East, specially in Syria, Turkey, Iran and Qatar. Her first film, Unveiled Views (2010) premiered at Guadalajara International Film Festival and was awarded best documentary at REC and at Som Cinema. Her first feature, Game Over (2015), a Spanish-German coproduction, premiered at Karlovy Vary 2015, and won the prestigious Gaudì Award for best documentary in Catalunya. Commander Arian (2018) is her second feature.



Director: Alba Sotorra

Producer: Stefano Strocchi

Executive Producer: Marta Figueira, Felix Kriegsheim

Editor: Jesper Osmund

Writers: Alba Sotorra, Stefano Strocchi, Jesper Osmund