The times are uncertain and ominous. The scourge of terrorism has gripped our world, and is tearing it apart. What was once inscrutable and seemingly faraway, is now tangible and perennially lurking. While the rampancy of terror attacks has put the world in shambles, its concomitants have brought in a global wave of distrust and post-apocalyptic murkiness.

The recent blasts in Belgium, perpetrated less than a year after the previous one, has left the country distressed, horrified, and anguished. With media sensationalizing, many opposing and polarizing views are making a dangerous foray in the geo-political dialogue and people’s minds.

While terrorism is a very real problem and needs to be grappled with, it is far more complicated than meets the eye. For one to fully fathom its magnitude and vastness, it would take more than just following the news and reading articles.

Thanks to the ingenuity of film-makers across the globe, we have some very astutely made documentaries that could help break down the many complexities that this anathema is rife with. Here are some that you could watch if you wish to know more about, and to some level comprehend, terrorism and geopolitical conflicts.

The Islamic State – Vice Documentary

Probably one of the best made documentaries on the Sunni extremist group, The Islamic State was shot by the intrepid journalist and film-maker Medyan Dairieh. He managed to get access to the operations of ISIS for three whole weeks and made most of it by using unsolicitous ways to show the word the repugnant deeds and deplorable ideologies that make the outfit what it is.

Young Syrian Lenses
Young Syrian Lenses is the product of Ruben Lagattolla’s reportage from Aleppo, where he arrived in May 2014, and spent two weeks, shooting and documenting the lives of the young ‘media activists’ of the biggest city of Syria. It beautifully depicts the lives of the civilians of Syria, caught between a ruthless dictatorship and a hardliner, terrorist outfit. The blase approach of the people accustomed to an almost quotidien presence of bombings and death, and the irony with which they describe their struggles is what makes this film worth a watch. On October 10, 2015, this zero budget film was screened at the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival. Here’s a teaser

War Against Terrorism – Al Qaeda Documentary
A lens that takes us through the dreary, morbid depths of Al Qaeda, their maxims and motivations, and what their presence in a post-Bin Laden world has been like.

Rojava – Syria’s Unknown War
Another one by Vice, this documentary looks at the Syrian Kurdish PYD party and its YPG militia, Rojava, which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in neighboring Turkey. Rojava, is a democratic, liberal enclave in an otherwise war-torn and exploited Syria.

Who is Boko Haram
In this film, Ayo Johnson investigates why there has been so much violence in Nigeria, why it is as under-reported as it is, and what the role of Boko Haram, the terrorist outfit responsible for unspeakable atrocities is. He also tries to question the government and tries to delve into what could be an effectual way to tackle the group.


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