Trailer: Hulu’s ‘No Man’s Land’ Lauds the ISIS-Fighting Women of the YPJ
There is a moment in the first trailer for the upcoming Hulu series No Man’s Land that sums up everything about why ISIS and it’s medieval extremist ideology exigently needed to be decisively defeated. Indeed, one of the formidable terrorist group’s proponents is seen shouting, “He who is killed by a woman on the battlefield…there is no Heaven!”
It starkly reminds that four hundred years into humanity’s so-called Enlightenment, such head-spinningly regressive views of women continue to fuel fundamentalist fanaticism.
The story’s protagonist is Antoine, an affluent French engineer—played by Félix Moati—who travels to Syria to find his long-gone sister Anna (Mélanie Thierry). Taken hostage, he is heroically rescued by the YPJ (Yuh-Pah-Juh, or Women’s Defense Units), a real life all-female Kurdish militia group of about 20,000, who did heroic battle with ISIS in the years between 2013 and 2019. Anna, as it turns out, has joined their considerable ranks, and we hear a news report blaring, “The legends are all true—the women of the YPJ will stop at nothing in their fight against ISIS.”
Inspired by their steely determination, Antoine also takes up their cause, and there’s something particularly thrilling about this gender role reversal. No one seems to know if Anna is still alive, though it’s suggested she might have actually died in a terrorist attack a couple of years previous. And one of the YPJ women is then heard scolding Antoine that, “Coming here was a big mistake.” Still, yet another reassures him, “If your sister is here, she’s fighting with people she loves, to save people she loves.”
An ISIS leader bellows, “In 36 hours, we attack the enemies of God.” And the final thirty seconds of the trailer lay bare the chilling brutality of the relentless guerrilla war that has torn apart the region these many years.
Notably, Western media/entertainment often shrinks from confronting the matter of Islamic misogyny head on. And though at the heart of No Man’s Land (premiering today, November 18 on Hulu), is a story of one’s man’s determination to rescue his sister (who might not need rescuing), it is not inconsequential that it also highlights the bravery and the absolutely vital undertaking of the women of YPJ.