In Kurdish Iraq, a battalion of freedom fighters put their lives on the line to drive the ISIS invaders from their village. What is unique about these fierce warriors is that every one is a woman fighting for life in “Girls of the Sun.”
The film begins with the statistic that, in 2014, over 7000 women were captured and enslaved in one massive raid by ISIS fighters in Kurdish Iraq. Half of the women, the objects of hate, rape and humiliation by their captors, are still missing. Others, the subject of writer-director Eva Husson’s third feature, decided to fight back against their oppressors.
The focal point of story is about woman power represented by two women in particular. Mathilde H. (Emmanuelle Bercot) is a combat journalist who lost an eye during the battle of Homs. Her fellow reporters have left the danger zone, but she embeds with a unit of femme fighters led by their battle-hardened commander, Bahar (Golshifteh Farahani).
While this story of survival and fighting back centers on the above pair, Eva Husson gives all the fighters their due as they face great danger with an even greater resolve. We get to see the sacrifices they make and their hopes of a return to a past, happy life and family.
The story is a slow, steady climb as it builds up to the final attack against the ISIS intruders with the mission to free the boys destined to be child soldiers. There is not much time given to other characters but the impact of their actions shows their honor and bravery. I give it a B-.
A sometimes confusing timeline isn't helped by modeling a fictional French journalist on Marie Colvin, who died two years prior to the events depicted in this film, and a couple of jarring fantasy elements. That said, Golshifteh Farahani is quite affecting and the film's landscape cinematography often breathtaking. B-
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