Channel 4 reveals first look at The State - the harsh reality of life of ISIS fighters

Written and Directed by Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-Winner Peter Kosminsky. 

Four-part series draws on extensive factual research to create a gripping and unflinching dramatic insight into the harsh reality of life for those who join ISIS.

Channel 4 unveiled today a first look of its new powerful new drama The State, which explores and confronts one of the most important issues of our time. The series, from renowned writer/director Peter Kosminsky, is set to premiere in August in the UK and then around the world on National Geographic.

A compelling, fictional story based on extensive research, “The State” follows the experiences of four young British men and women who have left their lives behind to join ISIS in Raqqah, Syria.

Jalal (Sam Otto – Collateral) is following in his older brother’s footsteps in deciding to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS, and has persuaded his best friend Ziyaad (Ryan McKen – BancroftNW) to accompany him. Single mother Shakira (Ony UhiaraLaw and Order) arrives in Syria with her nine-year-old son Isaac, determined to bring her skills as a junior doctor to the aid of the Islamic State; and teenager Ushna (Shavani Seth –YoungersHomeland) has left her family behind to fulfil what she sees as her religious duty after being radicalised on the internet.

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 said: “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, 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, to address through drama one of the most troubling issues of our age.”

To mark the broadcast of The State, All 4 will be celebrating Peter Kosminsky’s previous dramas for the Channel by making them available to stream and download for the next 12 months. The Government Inspector, starring Sir Mark Rylance, a powerful factual drama about the Iraq dossier row and the subsequent death of Dr David Kelly, won a Best Drama BAFTABritz, about a British Muslim family who are pulled in radically different directions in post 9/11 Britain, won a BAFTA for Best Drama Serial; The Promise, a love story set against the backdrop of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, was BAFTA and RTS nominated.

Peter Kosminsky’s most recent drama Wolf Hall earned a string of awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Television Series and a BAFTA for Best Drama Series as well as the Leading Actor BAFTA for Sir Mark Rylance’s depiction of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power through Henry VIII’s royal court.

The State is being produced by Archery Pictures for Channel 4 and National Geographic Channel. It was developed by Channel 4 and commissioned by Head of Drama Beth Willis. The executive producers are Liza Marshall, Kris Thykier and Peter Kosminsky. For National Geographic Channels, Carolyn G. Bernstein is Executive Vice President and Head of Global Scripted Development and Production.

July 13, 2017 1:57pm by Channel 4  

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