The State is a powerful and hard-hitting new drama from the award-winning writer/director Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Promise). A compelling and topical fictional story based on extensive research, it follows the experiences of four young British men and women who leave their lives behind to join ISIS in Syria.

We meet Shakira, a doctor, and her young son Isaac; Ushna, a 16-year-old who sneaks out of her parents’ house; and childhood friends Jalal and Ziyaad, both 19, as they travel across borders and undertake training. Jalal is following in the footsteps of his brother, who also defected to ISIS, and died a martyr. He’s an idealist who believes in the “good fight,” but after witnessing young girls being sold as slaves he begins to question everything. Shakira, meanwhile, is desperate to put her medical training to good use. She ends up working in a hospital, but soon realizes that in order to continue and have some freedom, she needs a husband for protection.

Unflinching in its portrayal of the hardships, brutality, and everyday realities of life as members of the Islamic State, The State is a truly compelling drama, exploring one of the most complex and troubling issues of our age.