Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Radio Kobanî

Documentaries set in the midst of conflict or in former war zones are almost always concerned with the roles of the victors and the vanquished, the soldiers or the survivors. They often neglect those human stories which aren’t just purely about survival, but predominantly re-building lives from the rubble. Radio Kobanî is one such tale. Reber Dosky’s documentary focuses on a remarkable young Kurdish woman.

Kobanî is a Syrian border town which was taken, occupied and demolished by daesh. After they pushed-back, 20-year old reporter Dilovan decided to start a radio station. Along with her friend Biter, they report from refugee camps, speak to soldiers and seek the views of a menagerie of locals. Filmed over a three-year period, from the final days of the fighting through the beginning of reconstruction, it charts a community trying to come to terms with their losses whilst looking to the future.

Radio Kobanî offers a sense of stability and hope to a population which has suffered so much. It’s an understated yet powerful look at the determination of a group of people to build themselves a future. Dilovan personifies this. She’s such a strong and inspirational role-model. Radio Kobanî is a documentary about hope. There’s also suggestions that there won’t just be a new beginning, but something much better.

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