Emily Mody - Girls of the Sun

Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 08:00 PM

Girls of the Sun

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Girls of the Sun is a feature length narrative film directed by Eva Husson. The story follows Bahar, played by Golshifteh Farahani. She is the leader of an all female, Kurdish battalion known as Girls of the Sun. Each member of the battalion has been enslaved by invading extremists and escaped. Not purely motivated by a moral calling, Bahar is searching for her son. She was separated from him when they were held captive. As she struggles to motivate and inspire her battalion, Bahar is actively dealing with her own internal battles. Every passing moment is shadowed by the memory of what her life used to be and the people she used to know.

There is a scene when the battalion are waiting for morning in a run down building that has been heavily exposed to the trials of war. As the bombs start to go off in the distance and the women are watching them fall, their faces are lit up momentarily by an intense and striking warm glow. As if I was watching their will to fight being ignited like a flame and just as quickly dissipating with the knowledge of the necessary sacrifices. It has been a very long time since I have seen such a beautiful use of light in a film. The cinematography is stunning, not to be overshadowed by everything else however. The acting is also exceptional and the story is engaging.

Girls of the Sun reminds me of Lipstick Under My Burkha directed by Alankrita Shrivastava. Although drastically different in tone, the message still follows a group of women who are seeking autonomy within a deeply complicated and restricted environment. Although much lighter in the overall feel, Lipstick Under My Burkha examines four generations of Indian women. They all have different restrictions and life complications but they are ultimately all seeking the same thing, freedom. So while not as high stakes as Girls of the Sun, the overall message is still inherently political. Both films are feminist and demonstrate the power of women relating to other women. They call on their shared suffering to push back against harmful restraints.

I would recommend this film to anyone with an interest in political dramas, particularly those centred on women. I think anyone with an interest in feminist cinema would also enjoy this film. We should never shy away from difficult subjects simply because they are hard to hear. There is an important discussion conveyed throughout Girls of the Sun about sisterhood and what it means to be powerful in an unforgiving world.

Girls of the Sun is 115 minutes long. The languages spoken in this film include French, Kurdish, English, and Arabic. The entire film is also subtitled in English. It is important to note that this is a war film and violence is inherent to move the action. The violence against women and children is deeply disturbing. If you are a particularly sensitive viewer, you have been forewarned.

Calgary Showtimes:  Girls of the Sun >


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