Girls of the Sun (2017) by Eva Husson at OCIFF

Girls of the Sun (2017) – Review by Ram Tayade

The film, adjudged earlier as the ‘Best Film’ at Pune Film Festival, was fitting finale for the recently concluded four day long *Orange City International Film Festival*. Many in the audience applauded as if possessed at the end of the movie. So, for lovers of war/ terrorist movies, it was indeed a gripping and emotional film.

As the history goes, thousands of women, girls and children were taken captive in one swoop by ISIS in the Sinjar Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014. They were starved, tortured, raped and beaten into submission. Some captives managed to escape and formed a unit of ‘Peshmerga Fighters’ to strike back at those who separated them from their families and killed their loved ones.

Skill fully weaving the past and present in flashbacks, ‘Girls of the Sun’ follows women’s battle through Daesh tunnel. The fight is led by Bahar, a former lawyer searching for her abducted son after her husband was killed by ISIS men. The female soldiers are also accompanied by a French war journalist Mathilde H., who too has painful war nightmares of her own having lost her husband in the skirmish and daughter waiting back in France. The bond between the women soldiers is strengthened because of the shared torture and suffering as they face the dangers that would frighten most people.

The lead actress, Iranian Golshifteh Farahani steals the show with her brilliant acting. May remember her films like ‘Bab Aziz’, ‘About Elly’ & ‘The Peer Tree’. The cinematography amazingly captures the contrasting scenarios … the beauty of the mountain mist on one hand while the atrocities and devastating fights on the other. Some of the closeup shots are simply brilliant. Editing too is crisp enough not to let the scenes drag on for too long.

Though by a female director, Eva Husson,  it truly isn’t a feminist movie, but does present female perspective on fighting of war on terrorism as it might have truly happened.

However,  I, for one, wasn’t surprised much because the film ran the same standard track as marked in numerous Hollywood movies on war & terrorism. It almost had everything that an usual war/ terrorist film has…combat, survival, escape, camaraderie between soldiers, sacrifice, futility and the moral & human issues usually raised by war.

My rating 6 out of 10

Ram Tayade

Piyush Pande Films 

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