No Man's Land (3 stars)

No Man's Land

Intelligent drama series about a Middle East conflict without any victors

In the bitter war against ISIS, one Kurdish group in particular came under the spotlight. The YPJ is a collection of female fighters who took up arms to help halt the Jihadist terror organisation's brutal march. So threatened are they by YPJ's resistance movement, ISIS leaders vowed that if any of their members were killed by a YPJ bullet, all the usual privileges which martyrs receive when they enter paradise (72 virgins and all that) would be denied.

In eight-part drama No Man's Land, Frenchman Antoine (Félix Moati) goes in search of his sister Anna (Mélanie Thierry) who he believes may have joined this gallant troop after being outraged when a refugee friend was deported from Europe and executed almost immediately upon his re-entry into Iran. Against his family's wishes, Antoine gets embroiled in the conflict after eventually convincing his YPJ captors that he has no connection to the Islamic State. Over on the black-flag side, three UK citizens have joined up to battle the Infidels, and as their violent rampages tears through Syria, all might not be as it seems with that British trio.

Across the four episodes that were available to review, an intricate and intelligently stitched together tale starts to emerge of individuals caught up by accident or design in a terrible conflict that seems destined to have no victors, but will inevitably leave a long trail of death, destruction and despair behind it. The exact direction which the key characters' lives are set to take is up for debate, but the tenor of No Man's Land at its halfway point suggests that very little good will be coming from it.

Watch on Starzplay, Sundays; episodes one and two available now.

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