The Matchmaker

The Matchmaker
dir. Benedetta Argentieri/Italy/2022/88 min.
Atlantic, sala B
Muranów, Ingrid + Pola
Atlantic, sala B

Tooba Gondal is one of the most infamous British jihadists. When she was only 20 years old she left London to join the Islamic State and gained popularity worldwide as "the ISIS matchmaker" after she recruited a dozen of Western women to marry ISIS fighters. Between 2014 and 2017 she actively engaged in propaganda on social networks. After disappearing for two years, Tooba was filmed in 2019 by director and freelance reporter Benedetta Argentieri, in Raqqa, Syria, only to vanish again a few days later. In an exclusive interview, Argentieri investigates the truth behind Tooba's face and stories. When she introduces herself, Tooba hints the stereotypical passive woman, who was in love with the wrong man and holds no responsibility for her actions.

Her version of the story clearly plays with the sexist view of women in the jihad, seen as accessories and not as active participants. Is she really the nice, intelligent and submissive girl we seen on camera? Or is she a violent extremist? The interview offers an interesting reflection on the Islamic holy war seen from the point of view of the women who are part of the caliphate, fighters and executioners themselves. In this documentary Argentieri tries to unfold one of the most complex and dangerous issues of our time: the real power and fascination exercised by ISIS on the minds of young Westerners, especially women.


  • projection time:
    88 min.
  • country/year:
    Italy /2022
  • director:
    Benedetta Argentieri
  • pictures:
    Benedetta Argentieri
  • production:
    Domenico Procacci, Laura Paolucci / Fandango
  • festivals and awards:
    2022 – Stockholm FF, 2022 – La Bienalle di Venezia, 2022 – Haifa IFF

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