Hulu’s ‘No Man’s Land’ Inspired By All-Female Militia That Hunts ISIS

Hulu’s No Man’s Land tells the story of the Syrian civil war through the eyes of Antoine, a young French man, in search for his estranged, presumed-to-be-dead sister. While unraveling the mystery, piece by piece, Antoine ends up joining forces with ISIS’ biggest nightmare – a unit of Kurdish female fighters – and travels with them in ISIS occupied territory. Antoine’s journey crosses paths with adventurers and anarchists, spies and innocent victims and provides a unique look on the tragic events in Syria, and the way they affect the entire world. The drama premieres November 18 on Hulu.

Co-creator and executive producer Maria Feldman said the idea came to her while watching a news report on the YPJ, an all-female militia, fighting ISIS in Syria. ISIS soldiers, Feldman said, are scared of the YPJ. “One of the women explained they want ISIS to know women are shooting at them because ISIS soldiers are not afraid of dying into battle. They think they will go to heaven and get 72 virgins unless they are killed by a women. Then there is no heaven and no virgins – simply that. When they hear the [female] sounds and see the colorful scarves they know women are shooting at them and sometimes freak out and run away. That’s why Kurdish fighters and especially YPJ and female battalions play such an important role in defeating ISIS. In that way it became an important force because finally ISIS became scared of women.”

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Actor Felix Moati plays the main role of Antoine Habert, who launches an unlikely and reckless search for his sister. Moati said Antoine was taking a big gamble due to the lack of international awareness of ISIS at the time. Moati commented his “character doesn’t really know where he’s going. He is only moved by obsession and conviction for finding his sister against what everybody tells him. [But] he carries a guilt and has to pay his due to his sister. He’s going there [in 2014] so no one knows the danger ISIS represents at that moment so he goes without knowing what’s waiting for him.”

Created by Masha’s María Feldman and Spiro’s Eitan Mansuri, No Man’s Land is written by Amit Cohen (False Flag) and Ron Lesham (Euphoria) in collaboration with Xabi Molia and directed by Oded Ruskin (False Flag).

Commissioned by Arte and Hulu, “No Man’s Land” stars Félix Moati (The French Dispatch, Le Grand Bain), Mélanie Thierry (La Douleur, Au revoir là-haut) and James Purefoy (Altered Carbon, Following, Rome).

The series is produced by Feldman, Mansuri and Jonathan Doweck for Spiro Films, Caroline Benjo, Simon Arnal and Carole Scotta for Haut et Court TV, and co-produced by Arte France and Versus Production. Fremantle’s Christian Vesper will also co-produce. Fremantle distributes the series internationally.

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