Broadcaster- Channel 4 2017 (UK)
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The State is a hard-hitting drama on 4 recruits who travel from the UK to join Islamic State in Syria. Please like, share and comment your thoughts on my review after reading, cheers..
The second episode dives deeper into the stiffness of ISIS, let’s face it, you would not want these goons running a council estate let alone an area the same size as Britain (the USA actually reported this in 2014)..
In the early moments of the episode we see Ushna scolding a woman for not having a Mahram* (Male Relative, for more see below) but then regret what she has said as she witnesses a public lashing for the woman. Ushna, in 2 episodes has shown a lack of gravity for her situation, take for instance her arranged marriage to a man who cannot speak English, she confides to one of the sisters about the matter by saying, “I’m going to get an app”. The language is not an issue, the issue is that this is not a game on a PlayStation, this is real life and the sad reality is that no matter how quick Ushna realises, her game will still be over.
Shakira is also witnessing Mahram problems as she decides to take her son to the hospital so that she can help, she is told to not use her hands on the patients. ISIS like I said in Episode 1, only care for death and no matter how noble Shakira’s efforts are, she will always be told Sharia (Islamic law) is first and saving lives is not an option (even though it is part of the Sharia to save lives).
A bomb goes off at the hospital and all the ISIS soldiers can say is, “sister cover your face”. To make matters worse Shakira is then confronted by dead babies and this makes her cry a passionate appeal while still believing in this so called Islamic State.
Speaking about the bomb, a close brother to Jalal and Ziyad is killed. Jalal feels guilty as he was using his phone to speak to his mother and he was not guarding his post (more on him later).
Ziyad on the other hand feels it’s cool to actually post beheadings and holding AK’s (ISIS version of the Ghetto). It’s like a fashion statement gone wrong, you begin to feel that these guys are just kids seeking for fame in the pretence of religion.
Moving again to Jalal who is the most conflicted from the four, he has a brother who is a hero amongst UK Jihadis* which we will come to later, but he is not comfortable with the beheadings and videos. A case in point is how when asking the residence how they feel about ISIS on camera, a pharmacist replies that they are happy but Jalal knows something is up, sure enough the Pharmacist confides in Jalal as he sees he has some morals unlike the others and tells him about his Christian wife who has escaped to a Turkish camp. Jalal feels sorry for the Pharmacist while still reflecting on his own purpose.
The real bomb is delivered at the end of the episode. He is told by a comrade that his brother in fact was not a hero but a deserter and he was beheaded for it. This might leave Jalal to prove to himself that he can do what his brother could not, I guess time will tell..
The State demonstrated its amazing story telling ability and almost accurate depiction of ISIS, it showed a weakness and a strange strength within the 4 characters. They have developed immensely in just 2 episodes. Oh and in case you’re wondering, the show was filmed in Southern Spain (strange silence)..
I hope you enjoyed this review and if not then please let me know where you think I am wrong. Until next time take care!
*Mahram- A male relative who the woman cannot marry for e.g. Brother who is an allowable escort on her travels.
*Jihadi- ISIS view this as a man participating for physical war only but the mainstream Muslim world view this as a struggle with one’s desires more than actual fighting.