Fear Us Women follows Hanna Bohman, a Canadian civilian who has spent the last three years in Syria as a volunteer soldier battling ISIS. As a member of the YPJ, an all-female Kurdish army, Hanna gives an inside look at the brave women fighting for liberation in the world’s most dangerous country.
About David Darg
David Darg is an Oscar nominated and Emmy winning filmmaker and humanitarian. He received critical praise for his documentary, Body Team 12, which garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 88th Academy Awards, and two Emmys. He co-founded the U.S. media company RYOT, which was acquired by AOL in 2016. Darg is a pioneer of Virtual Reality filmmaking and directed the first VR film shot in a disaster zone. His films have won major film festivals and he has directed commercials for several Fortune 500 companies. David was named one of Esquire Magazine’s “2012 Americans of the Year” for his work in Haiti, as well as a “Hollywood Maverick” by Details Magazine for his documentary work in crisis and disaster zones. He spent over a decade as a humanitarian first responder and frontline contributor for Reuters, BBC, and CNN, covering some of the world’s largest natural disasters and wars.
While documenting the Syrian refugee crisis, Diego and I came into contact with several foreign volunteers fighting against ISIS in Syria — among them a group of women fighting with the all women’s army, the YPJ. Their bravery was inspiring and the YPJ’s mission, to liberate women, not just from ISIS but from an oppressive patriarchy, was so powerful that we wanted to document that story through the eyes of one foreign volunteer inside the movement. The ISIS belief that if they are killed by a woman they go to hell makes the YPJ’s mission even more fascinating. The story of these women, feared by their enemy, and fighting in the most dangerous place on earth is one of the most powerful stories I’ve ever encountered. And through Hanna we get to see an unprecedented look into the life of a woman fighting on the front lines against ISIS. We made this film because so little attention has been given to this brave women’s army. Their cause to liberate ISIS sex slaves and reform women’s rights in the Middle East is one of the noblest battles being fought on the planet.
Right now there are 10,000 women fighting real life or death battles for the liberation of women in the Middle East. Too often all we see are hopeless images coming out of Syria and Iraq, but with these women we see a generation of young people so passionate about equality and defeating an evil that they are willing to die for their cause. This film is launching at a critical moment in the history of women’s equality. With the Weinstein scandal as just the tip of the iceberg, Fear Us Women and its message gives an important, empowering look at the struggle and victory of a women’s movement. If women can defeat ISIS, they can defeat anything; no obstacle is too great.