Surrounded by ISIS

In December 2014 ISIS militants managed to completely surround the town of Sinjar in Iraq. The Yezedi Kurdish residents of the mountain town, which lies about 50km from the Syrian border, are trapped. But they are not beaten. Xavier Muntz was dropped by helicopter into Sinjar and spent three weeks among the inhabitants as they fought for their lives and their homeland.

The resistance force here is made up fighters from many countries and religious groups; all united amongst their common enemy. Fighting alongside each other are Kurds from Syria and Turkey, Christians and Muslims and even an American who contacted them through Facebook. Unusually for such a conservative part of the world there are also women who have enlisted and who fight as fiercely as any of their male colleagues.

We see how life continues surrounded by fierce daily battles. After many massacres of their people, those left here are afraid but defiant against extremists who want to destroy them and their way of life forever.

Extraordinary and exclusive footage from inside the war against ISIS.


  • Year: 2015
  • Duration:
  • Production: Premières Lignes
  • Director: Xavier Muntz
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France



  • Awards: DIG Award 2015 in the VIDEOREPORTING / REPORTAGE category; Grand format television trophy at Prix Bayeux-Calvados; GVC Onus Prize at Terra di Tutti Film Festival. Festivals: Albert Londres Prize finalist; Terra Di Tutti Film Festival; Prix Bayeux (War Reporters); Sichuan TV Festival (6-8 Nov 2015, Chengdu, Sichuan, CHINA); Cinema Vérité, Iran International Documentary Film Festival (13-19 Dec. 2015, Teheran IRAN); Prix Scam Télévision Grand Format at Étoiles de la SCAM 2016

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