National Geographic Goes Inside ISIS in Powerful Drama "The State"

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12 September 2017
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The State
Courtesy of National Geographic Channels
"The State"
Premieres as a Two Night Event
Monday, September 18 and Tuesday, 19 at 9 PM ET/PT

on National Geographic Channel 
 
          THE STATE, from renowned writer/director Peter Kosminsky, explores and confronts one of the most important issues of our time. This is a compelling fictional story based on extensive research, as it follows the experiences of four young British men and women who have left their lives behind to join ISIS in Raqqah, Syria.
 
           Sam Otto (Collateral), who plays Jalal, is following in his older brother’s footsteps in deciding to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS and has persuaded Ryan McKen (Bancroft, NW), who plays his best friend, Ziyaad, to accompany him. Ony Uhiara (Law and Order) plays single mother Shakira, who arrives in Syria with her nine-year-old son, Isaac, is determined to bring her skills as a junior doctor to the aid of the Islamic State; and Shavani Cameron (Youngers, Homeland) plays teenager Ushna, who has left her family behind to fulfil what she sees as her religious duty after being radicalized on the internet.
 
The State
Courtesy of National Geographic Channels
 
           As they experience more of the realities of life in Raqqah, witnessing horrific atrocities carried out by the regime and the bloody aftermath of air strikes, their journeys diverge into disillusionment and despair, on the one hand, and increasing commitment to the Caliphate, on the other.
 
           Peter Kosminsky says, “ISIS and its adherents have caused pain and suffering the world over. But unless we understand why some of our young men and women chose to give up the lives they were living and travel to Syria and why men and women born and brought up in our liberal democracies opt to lay down those lives in its name, how can we ever hope to combat its nihilistic creed? Based on detailed and extensive research carried out over many months, THE STATE is an attempt to grapple with these questions and to address through drama one of the most troubling issues of our age.”
 

Episodes Include:
 
The State: Part One
Premieres September 18, 9PM

Four young British male and female ISIS recruits are excited to begin their new lives in Syria. Jalal and Ziyaad enjoy the male camaraderie as they are trained and equipped for battle, while Shakira and Ushna are taught the strict rules women must obey. They take oaths of allegiance to ISIS, convinced they have made the right decision to come, but are soon confronted by the harsh realities of life under ISIS, which do not match their expectations.
 
The State: Part Two
Premieres September 18, 10PM

The recruits are forced to reflect on their new lives in THE STATE. Jalal and Ziyaad experience bloody frontline battle while Shakira witnesses the horrifying aftermath of a barrel bomb, and Ushna is shocked at the brutal treatment of women. Shakira must persuade a dangerous commander to overcome ISIS rules and allow her to work in a hospital, and Jalal has a conversation, which makes him question the whole rationale for his journey to Syria.
 
The State: Part Three
Premieres September 19, 9PM

Marriage to a foreign fighter proves challenging for Ushna, but she is determined to make it work. Shakira, too, must marry to continue working but turns down a proposal from Abu Akram with brutal consequences. Jalal is horrified by the treatment of young Yazidi women being sold as sex slaves and buys a mother and daughter, Ibitsam and Narin, to rescue them. He and Ziyaad are sent back to the frontline, where a commander is calling for the ultimate sacrifice.
 
The State: Part Four
Premieres September 19 at 10PM

Jalal and Shakira’s disillusionment with the brutality of life under ISIS is complete and they decide to risk their own lives to help others get out.


 
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