'No Man's Land' – Hulu presents Syrian war epic
An online video of his believed-dead sister sends a Parisian into the heart of the bloody Syrian civil war to find her in a drama series upcoming on Hulu.
In “No Man’s Land,” an eight-episode thriller dropping Wednesday, Nov. 18, Felix Moati (“The French Dispatch”) stars as Antoine, a French engineer in the midst of fertility treatments with wife Lorraine (Julia Faure, “Camille Rewinds”) when he sees news video of what he believes to be his presumed-dead archeologist sister Anna (Mélanie Thierry, “Pu-239”).
Heading off to Syria to find her, he’s captured by ISIS but then rescued by the YPJ, an all-female Kurdish militia unit. Joining forces with the formidable fighters, he encounters an assortment of spies, anarchists, adventurers and innocent victims as they traverse ISIS-occupied territory.
The series comes from the creative team of Maria Feldman (“Fauda,” “First Flag”) and Eitan Mansuri (“When Eagles Fly”) and offers a unique view of the tragic events in that country and how they affect the world. And at the heart of the story are the YPJ, a group that Feldman notes was particularly effective against ISIS fighters.
“ISIS soldiers are not afraid of dying in the battle,” she explains. “On the contrary, they think they will go to heaven and get 72 virgins unless they’re killed by a woman. Then there is no heaven, no virgins, they are simply dead. And when they hear the sound and when they see colorful scarves, and they know that women are shooting at them, they sometimes just freak out and run away. And when I heard this, that that’s why Kurdish fighters and, especially, YPJ and all-female battalions play such an important role in defeating ISIS, I thought that the story needs to be told.”
As for Antoine, Moati explains his character undertakes the journey without a clue as to the peril he’d be in.
“He’s only moved by his obsession,” the French actor says, “his conviction of finding his sister against what everybody tells him. So he’s really brave, in a sense, and also he carries guilt, and he has to pay his due. He has the feeling that he has to pay his due to his sister. And so he’s going there. We are in 2014. So nobody knows the danger ISIS represents at this moment. So he goes without knowing really what’s waiting for him.”