There’s honestly nothing better than a Feminist Battle-cry against the powers of oppression. With Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun, her enigmatic style and visual flare comes into full force with her latest war epic. After a confusing mixed reaction at Cannes, and a dead silent festival run, it’s upsetting to see such an important and relevant film for our time, be ignored and neglected to the point where the people who needs to see the film the most, as purpose for self-reflection and trauma, may not ever get to see what Husson has created. Her vision, her directing, and her composition of narrative is nothing short of outstanding, for what the film is trying to depict. What could have been an incredibly gratuitous and disturbing point of view on Kurdistan extremism, relying to heavily on images of rape and violence, Husson gives humanity to these empowering female roles, instead of following the typical generic shock value formula.
Following the harrowing journey of a war correspondent, and an ex-captive turned freedom fighter, Girls of the Sun interchanges stories and perspectives between these two strong female roles. The film never lightens the truth however, in which the film is never afraid to depict acts of violence, implied sexual assault and brief psychological and physical torture. However, by the time the film concludes, all of these elements have a purpose in the large scheme of things. Girls of the Sun is a film about recovery, one of specific trauma. The two protagonists both have their fare share of deeply saddening moments in their individual lives, but heroically overcome the trials and tribulations that life has thrown their way.
It has to be said however, that throughout the film’s enthralling material, it’s disappointing to note that it’s structure is the film’s biggest downfall. Relying too heavily on flash backs, and interconnected timelines, the film just becomes a drag when following along the sequence of events presented throughout film. Even though the performances, specifically coming from the two main leads, Golshifteh Farahani and Emmanuelle Bercot, the film’s narrative beats feel all to familiar, to lesser war-time empowerment feminist pieces such as last year’s A Private War.
Messy in narrative execution, but entrancingly powerful in terms of its thematic weight, Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun is yet another welcomed addition to her slowly growing filmography. Albeit the film’s heavy reliance on it’s structure, the film further proves a timely message for all. One of perseverance through moral character.
Girls of the Sun is Now Playing in Select Cinemas