TICKETS ON SALE JULY 16 FOR MEMBERS, JULY 19 FOR GENERAL AUDIENCE

"Remarkable access and nerves of steel (on the part of both the subjects and of filmmaker Hogir Hirori) makes for a riveting documentary which is as tense as it is revealing." - Wendy Ide, Screen International

Riveting - will shake audiences into awareness.” - Robert Daniels, rogerebert.com

“This life-threatening work is documented with remarkable calmness and composure, even beauty.” - Caitlin Quinlan, Sight & Sound

Guarded by Kurdish forces, 73,000 Daesh (ISIS) supporters are locked up in the Al-Hol Camp in northeastern Syria. Considered the most dangerous camp in the Middle East, it is situated amidst a volatile political and military reality where Daesh is still omnipresent. Five years ago, Daesh killed thousands of Yazidis in the Sinjar province of Iraq and abducted thousands of Yazidi women and girls to be held and sold as sex slaves – called Sabaya. 

Mahmud, Ziyad and other volunteers from the Yazidi Home Center rescue the Sabaya,who are still being held by Daesh in the camp. Continuously phoning, smoking and sometimes bickering, Mahmud and Ziyad systematically prepare their missions and know exactly who to look for, and where. Often accompanied by female infiltrators – some of them former Sabaya – and armed with nothing but an old mobile phone and a small gun, they travel to the camp in an inconspicuous van. Once there, mostly by night, they must act extremely quickly to avoid potential violence.

Directed, shot and edited by acclaimed Swedish/Kurdish director Hogir Hirori, SABAYA presents a first-hand experience of the strong contrast between the tense situation in the camp and the comfort of daily life at home. Under the loving care of Mahmud’s wife, Siham, and his mother, Zahra, it might take a long time for the young women to heal, but perhaps one day the traumatized girls will also be strong enough to become brave female infiltrators themselves, helping to rescue even more Yazidi Sabaya from the claws of an ideology that tolerates nothing but itself. (Dogwoof)


Festivals, Awards & Nominations

Official Selection - Sundance Film Festival; CPH:DOX; True/False; Docville (Opening Film)

Winner - World Documentary Directing Award - Sundance Film Festival; True Life Fund Film - True/False; Documentary Competition Jury Prize - Hong Kong International Film Festival 


For the safety and comfort of our audience members and employees, we will have the following safety protocols in place for at least the first two weeks after we reopen:

  • Masks required by all staff and patrons at all times

  • Staggered showtimes and ample time between shows to mitigate crowds

  • Ticket pre-orders for films encouraged to reduce lines 

  • Hand sanitizer and disposable face masks available for patrons

  • Only 80% of our tickets will be available for sale so that we can leave an empty seat between parties

  • In light of the latest health updates from the city of Chicago, and in accordance with the School of the Art Institute, we will not be selling concessions nor allowing outside food or drink for at least the first two weeks of business. 

  • We will, however, hand out a FREE small popcorn to those who show proof of COVID vaccination, as a “parting gift” when you exit the theater. 

  • If you are feeling unwell or have a fever, please stay home and stream films until you feel better

Note: protocols are subject to change, per new or evolving information.