CPH:DOX – The Other Side of the River

Skrevet den 09-04-2021 14:14:17 af Tue Steen Müller

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website:

On this site – – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watche at other festivals around the world.

Here is the first one to be strongly recommended, ”The Other Side of the River” the debut film of German Antonia Kilian as director and camerawoman, and with Arash Asadi and Guevara Namer as editor and co-authors. I met Antonia and Guevara at the Baltic Sea Docs in 2018, and I have great memories of meeting Guevara at the DoxBox in Damascus in the four years before the revolution in 2011. Guevara has also been showing her big talent as a photographer on this site. Here comes the description of the film from the CPH:DOX website:

“19-year-old Hala escaped an arranged marriage by crossing the Euphrates River and finding a new home in the Kurdish Women’s Protection Unit, which soon after liberated her hometown from Islamic State. For her female fellow soldiers, the enemy is not just IS, but the patriarchy in general, with marriage as the ultimate oppressive institution. So Hala decides to free her sisters before it is too late, and whatever the cost – even if this means disappearing from her own film to plan nothing less than an armed attack on her parents’ house. The threat of an arranged marriage and the brutal stories of violent husbands have made many young women like Hala cross the river to get trained in combat. Physically, but also intellectually. But is there still space for freedom and love in Hala’s life when her mission is all-consuming? First-time director Antonia Kilian introduces us to her own thoughts on being a cultural outsider in a situation where the term militant feminism should be understood literally.”

The film has moments of great beauty, it dares have long scenes, it shows what it means to gain trust from its protagonist, who is a more-than-brave young woman meeting an equally brave film team. It’s a world premiere here in Copenhagen but it will for sure travel. 

Trailer can be seen on Cineuropa.

Tilføjet i kategorierne: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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