The 11 Best Documentaries About ISIS

Aug 20, 2023 | Best Of, Crime

From the days of Ancient Egypt to modern-day conflict in Syria and Iraq, few topics have captivated and horrified us as much as ISIS. As one of the most powerful extremist groups to exist in recent memory, their actions have left deep scars around the world. But understanding more about this terrorist entity is key to preventing similar organizations from wreaking havoc.


1. Confronting ISIS

“Confronting ISIS” is a two-hour special program that takes viewers deep inside the fight against one of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations. This FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith documentary explores successes, failures and challenges faced by five countries – Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Turkey – who have been key players in the anti-ISIS battle.


2. ISIS: The Start

This is a must-watch documentary exploring the origins of ISIS. With interviews from key political figures and analysts, this film examines the rise of a puritanical rule over Iraq and Syria. How did it come to be? What were the deciding factors in its formation? This compelling documentary provides insight into the beginnings of this notorious terror group with expert analysis.


3. Return From ISIS

Sam Sally, known as Sam Elhassani, is an American mother who was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison in November 2020 for financing terrorism. She became the first person of her nationality to be brought back from Syria or Iraq and convicted on ISIS-related terrorism charges.


4. Inside the Empire of Terror

Following the Paris attacks in 2015, France was left with a feeling of shock and disbelief. As people began to ask questions about what measures can be taken to ensure greater security, it was revealed that France had considerable financial means available to them. However, this raised more questions – where did these funds come from?


5. The Rise And Fall Of ISIS

This documentary provides an inside look at the formation, rise to power, and ultimate fall of ISIS. Hosted by Richard Engel, viewers are taken on a journey through the group’s recruitment process, their establishment of an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the eventual demise of one of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations.


6. Children of ISIS

Thousands of kids are currently residing in ISIS-ruled territories in Iraq and Syria. This organization is known for its recruitment tactics of young boys, who have witnessed the oppressive methods used to make them subservient and loyal. These minors were conditioned to fight without question, as ISIS went about training them for battles ahead.


7. The Call of ISIS

Colonel Gulmurod Kalimov was a man at the heart of Tajikistan’s elite Special Forces, close to the president’s family. He had been trained in counter-terrorism techniques by both Russian and American forces, and led the fight against Islamic extremists within his own country.


8. The secret world of ISIS

Ebrahim B. is no ordinary man. He was once a part of the ISIS, and has seen firsthand the brutality and godlessness that goes on within the organization. In an effort to raise awareness of his experiences, he agreed to be filmed in a prison in Lower Saxony — speaking openly about what it was like.


9. How a 10-Year-Old Boy Was Forced To Join ISIS

Moussa Sally and his family had an unassuming life in Indiana, until one day when they decided to relocate to Syria. For Moussa, it was the beginning of what he thought would be a utopian adventure – but for 10 year old Matthew, it quickly became a nightmare.


10. Inside the Deadliest ISIS Attack in Years

Hind Hassan and her team take viewers on a journey deep into Syria, as they uncover the truth behind an attempted prison break by ISIS. This attack was one of the most lethal since the caliphate’s fall three years ago. In this documentary, we are given insight into how Hind and her crew put their lives at risk to move around in hostile territory and bring us news of what is happening on the ground.


11. The Kurdish Female Guerrillas Fighting ISIS

This stirring documentary takes viewers to the heart of Kurdistan and its struggle against ISIS. The filmmaker, Zaynê Akyol, walks an emotional journey with a group of brave female guerillas from the PKK, as they fight for Kurdish freedom in the face of oppressive forces. With these women at its centre, this film exposes the hidden feminine strength behind the revolutionary movement, driven by the common goal of freedom.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B