Saving the Yezidi captives of Sinjar

The Yezidis of Sinjar were the victims of genocide; the women were kidnapped and enslaved. The survivors testify to suffering, but not all of them have yet been rescued.

In 2014, as the Islamic State seized Sinjar, home to many Yezidis, and committed what the UN declared as genocide against them, Nadia Murad, a survivor of the killings, stood up to the executioners and tried to save her family and her people. Filmmaker Hanna Polak's film Angels of Sinjar shows the plight of these families as they mourn their dead and desperately try to secure the release of their daughters and sisters imprisoned in camps in Syria. Nadia Murad, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, has led the way to rescue many young women; her brother, Saeed, and Hanifa, the film's heroine, have followed her lead. However, the wounds do not heal easily, and it will take a long time for the victims to return and reintegrate into their home communities.

Women*JusticeMiddle East

Sunday 13 March


Espace Pitoëff - Théâtre

Followed by the debate Saving the Yezidi captives of Sinjar.

French - English - Kurdish


Hanna Polak Film Director

Hanifa Maao Protagonist of the film

Moderated by

Vicken Cheterian

This debat is preceded by the movie:

Compétition - Documentaire de créationFilms en VOD

Angels of Sinjar

By Hanna Polak

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hanna Polak takes her camera to Sinjar in northern Iraq, deep in the territory where the Islamic State attempted to wipe out the Yazidi people. She gives voice to Hanifa, who is trying to free her sisters, or to Saeed, Nadia Murad's brother. Both have decided to stay to try to free their loved ones and seek justice. Through their testimonies, we witness all the horror of a forgotten genocide, the ordeal of a people who are denied all their rights, as well as their strength and courage.

This movie contains violent and graphic images that may be harmful and traumatising to some. Viewer discretion is advised.

Co-presented with ARTE

  • Section Compétition - Documentaire de création & Films en VOD
  • Original language(s) English & Kurdish
  • Subtitle(s) French & English


Hanna Polak

World sales

  • Deckert Distribution


  • Hanna Polak
  • Mariusz Margas
  • Mykhailo Puziurin


  • Łukasz Pieprzyk


  • Bartez Putkiewicz


  • Marcin Kot Bastkowski
  • Hanna Polak
Production country
Poland & Germany
World Premiere