If you enjoyed ‘The Story of Kerala’, we guarantee you’ll be obsessed with Netflix’s ‘Caliphate’. With this series, you can delve into the stories of Swedish individuals entangled in the ISIS network, as SAEPO races against time to combat these menacing threats.
Caliphate made its debut on Netflix on March 20, 2020 after it premiered on Swedish television in January. Like the latest Bollywood hit movie Kerala’s history, Caliphate it also addresses not only terrorism but also the broader issue of radicalization.
Despite facing great controversy, Kerala’s history continues to draw audiences to theaters. Interestingly, the film’s plot bears a striking resemblance to this 2020 Swedish web series Caliphate (known as Kalifat in Swedish).
the plot of Kerala’s history revolves around three young Hindu women from Kerala who undergo indoctrination to convert to Islam and are then sent to Syria, where they are forced to join the ISIS terrorist group and subjected to torture. The film, directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, has so far grossed Rs 213.17 crore in India.
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What is Caliphate?
In 2014, the extremist organization ISIS established its own interpretation of the Caliphate in certain regions of Iraq and Syria, where Islamic law was enforced. Living conditions within this self-proclaimed state were harsh, and even petty crimes resulted in brutal and barbaric punishments.
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This oppressive environment instilled fear among the inhabitants. Remarkably, despite ISIS’s widely recognized status as a terrorist group, thousands of people from Western countries willingly joined its ranks. While some remained enthusiastic supporters, others experienced a change of heart after reaching the Caliphate.
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About the Netflix series Caliphate
Directed by Guldbagge Award-winning director Goran Kapetanovic, this Swedish series delves into the intertwining stories taking place in Sweden and Iraq. It explores the journey of several Swedish people who have left their home country to join ISIS, while also showcasing the efforts of SAEPO, the Swedish security service, to monitor and manage these threats. The plot thickens as an alleged ISIS bomb plot inside Sweden unfolds, adding an element of suspense and creating a captivating narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
This gripping series weaves together three interconnected plots. The first story follows Pervin, a Swedish Muslim woman stranded in Syria, desperately searching for a way to return home. The second revolves around Fatima, a Säpo intelligence officer in Stockholm, who is determined to help Pervin. The third narrative delves into the world of Al Musafir, also known as The Traveler, a young jihadist recruiter involved in the radicalization of two sisters, Suleika and Lisha, as well as his friend Karima.
Simultaneously, he plans major terrorist attacks in Sweden with the help of minor characters, including two Swedish brothers who radicalized in prison. As the series unfolds, the three stories become intricately intertwined, creating a captivating and suspenseful narrative.
The series begins in Syria and shows a scene where the main character, Pervin (played by Gizem Erdogan), and other women gather in a square. A man is brought forward and his arm is forcibly stretched out on a table. The women then witness a horrifying sight as a man standing by the table brandishes a butcher knife, raises it high and mercilessly slices into the man’s lower arm.
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Pervin, married to Hasum, a Raqqa-based IS member, becomes aware of an impending attack. Fatima approaches her and offers her the chance to secure safe passage out of Syria in exchange for gathering crucial information about the attack. Pervin, driven by desperation, embarks on a dangerous mission to uncover the details, at constant risk of discovery. As his life turns into a nightmarish existence, Pervin faces harrowing challenges in his quest for survival and redemption.
Shot in Stockholm and Jordan, this gripping eight-part thriller maintains a constant sense of suspense as the story builds towards an impending terrorist attack in Sweden. Wilhelm Behrman, the creator of the series, during an interview in 2020, spoke about the representation of religious fundamentalism in the series.
He told Variety: “We wanted the audience to be drawn into the story by starting with a classic terrorist plot and then letting the drama about the girls become more and more dominant as viewers became more and more emotionally engaged with them. If we had left the radicalization storyline dominating the first episode, perhaps parts of the audience would have lost interest.”
Created by Wilhelm Behrman and Nikolas Rockström, Caliphate It has been produced by Filmlance, a renowned Swedish production company. The series, which premiered on January 12, was also picked up for international distribution by Endemol Shine International.