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Film Reviews Kurdish battalion drama Girls of the Sun veers from vague to erratic

Golshifteh Farahani in Girls of the Sun.

Maneki Films

  • Girls of the Sun
  • Directed by Eva Husson
  • Written by Eva Husson and Jacques Akchoti
  • Starring Emmanuelle Bercot and Golshifteh Farahani
  • Classification NA; 115 minutes

rating

Eva Husson’s earnest and awkward drama about the Kurdish women fighting the Islamic State is a textbook illustration of why idiosyncratic characters should drive fiction rather than topics ripped from the headlines. This film, about a French war correspondent and the Kurdish Amazon with whom she is embedded, has the worthy intention of telling the story of the women’s battalions in Kurdistan, but it’s formulaic and melodramatic.

The heroic (and one-note) commander Bahar (Golshifteh Farahani) is motivated by the murder of her husband, the kidnapping of her son and her own sexual enslavement (from which she subsequently escapes in one of the film’s few exciting passages). That backstory is told in repeated flashbacks, while the present-day character never wavers from her courageous course. The improbable Mathilde (Emmanuelle Bercot), abandoning a young daughter and the memory of a journalist husband killed in the same field, can only marvel.

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The political setting is vague and the results erratic, alternating between intense suspense and high bathos.

Girls of the Sun opens April 12 in Toronto and Calgary.

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