HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  Girls of the Sun Fighting towards the light
Year: 2018
Director: Eva Husson
Stars: Golshifteh Farahani, Emmanuelle Bercot, Zübeyde Bulut, Sinama Alievi, Mari Semidovi, Roza Mirzoiani, Zinaida Gasoiani, Maia Shamoevi, Nia Mirianashvili, Evin Ahmad, Zirek, Erol Afsin, Nuka Asatiani, Behi Djanati Atai, Adik Bakoni
Genre: Drama, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: One-eyed French photojournalist Mathilde (Emmanuelle Bercot) joins Kurdish female battalion as they prepare to take back their town from Islamic State extremists. She becomes fascinated with the unit’s commander: Bahar (Golshifteh Farahani), a courageous, ferociously determined fighter haunted by a horrific past. As the soldiers steel themselves for a brutal battle, Bahar hopes to storm an ISIS training camp for child soldiers to rescue her kidnapped son.

Girls of the Sun premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival to a positive reception from the attending audience only to be savaged by critics. Phrases like "exploitative" and "immoral" were bandied about even in the midst of some pushback from the #MeToo movement that embraced the film as a vital feminist story. Even so several female writers of note called out its feminist credentials as bogus, citing the script’s emphasis on motherhood as a woman’s defining role. Divorced from the all too predictable hysteria and hyperbole that characterized Cannes' fumbled attempts to reconcile with the movement, viewers will likely appreciate Girls of the Sun for the earnest if imperfect drama that it is. Far from exploitative or immoral writer-director Eva Husson's treatment of this compelling true life story is empathetic and affecting. For all the accusations of her detractors the film focuses on the emotional impact of abuse endured by Bahar and her family in captivity rather than any crassly explicit or exploitative scenes.

While French journalist Mathilde, who suffers from a mental and emotional trauma that is none too clearly defined, functions as our 'ride along' character, the real lead of the film is outstanding Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as Bahar. Farahani, who has a thriving parallel Hollywood career in films like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Jim Jarmush's Paterson (2016) and Extraction (2020), boldly inhabits the forthright, French educated, former lawyer rape survivor turned freedom fighter who grapples not just with a relentless enemy but the entrenched sexism of fellow Kurdish soldiers. Husson punctuates the film with flashbacks to Bahar's happy, stable family life that slowly erodes into a nightmare of subjugation and sex slavery. While the flashbacks do tend to disrupt the flow and sap some of the emotional impact of the present-day narrative they give viewers a glimpse of something unseen on our western media. That is a portrait of a thriving, upbeat, life-affirming Kurdish community just before it is swept away by a wave of fundamentalism.

Maybe it boils down to a matter of taste. Yet what some critics found melodramatic and laden with bombast others may find affecting, grounded and all too real. There is an undeniable weight to the portrait of these resilient women. It is the quiet, lyrical moments that serve the film best. As when the Yazidi women huddle together for comfort or dance and sing to celebrate the birth of a new baby. Their thriving spirit in the face of a nightmarish scenario proves as important as their fighting prowess. Certainly the film has its flaws. Among them an ending too abrupt and confusing to achieve the emotional crescendo Husson seems to be striving for. Additionally Mathilde comes across as something of a straw woman mouthpiece for the filmmaker given her propensity for editorializing, even over the closing credits. Nonetheless Girls of the Sun is a vital testament to the suffering and fortitude of the Yazidi women, finding its most potent metaphor in a harrowing sequence where the pregnant Lamia (Zübeyde Bulut) struggles painfully to hold back from birthing her baby until she and Bahar make it safely across the border.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 427 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: