Girls of the Sun

Directed by French filmmaker Eva Husson in her second feature film, Girls of the Sun is a surprisingly less-than-remarkable war drama that has the best of intentions by telling the story of a group of Kurdish female soldiers fighting ISIS. The all-female battalion led by the tough former lawyer Bahar is based on the remarkable Yazidi female soldiers from Iraqi Kurdistan fighting alongside their male counterparts in defeating the brutal ISIS regime that had taken hold of their territory. In a rather disjointed way in which the plot swerves rapidly between characters, the film follows this group of women who were compelled to fight after being freed from ISIS captivity as sex slaves and many of their husbands and sons were either killed or captured. The movie unnecessarily chooses to present their story through the eyes of a Westerner, specifically a veteran French war correspondent named Mathilde who is embedded with the unit for several days. Over the course of several days in which the film takes place, we witness the female soldiers trying to take back their small village in the Kurdish territory of Iraq and are engaged in several well-shot battle sequences. At random intervals, the filmmaker attempts to take a closer glimpse of the characters by presenting flashbacks of mostly the main character Bahar who is showed being taken captive, sexually assaulted, and searching for her son. Overall, I was disappointed in the cinematic treatment of such a compelling and important story about a group of courageous and powerful women; the narrative incoherence and lack of character development does not do any justice to the truly remarkable protagonists.

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