The struggle of the Yazidi people against ISIS is a noteworthy story and one deserving of a sympathetic and heroic cinematic adaptation. Unfortunately, Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun is just not it. While the film is serviceable, its relationship to its subject matter is somehow mundane and exploitative at the same time.
Girls of the Sun tells the story of a Kurdish battalion of women fighting to take back their town from ISIS extremists. This story is told through the vantage point of two characters: Mathilde (Emmanuelle Bercot), the French journalist covering the event and Bahar (Golshifteh Farahani), the commander-in-chief of the battalion. It is with this very choice in the narrative’s point-of-view that it becomes apparent how the next two hours will go; the most important people on this battlefield are a French observer and the leader played by a Parisian Persian, placing the Kurdish sentiment on the backburner.
This casting choice would not be a huge issue, if the final product didn’t seem so pointless. There is no emotional core. There is nothing unique to be seen. The only result of the film is that there will be two fewer hours in your day. This isn’t to say that the film is malicious in its execution, however; it just so happens that these particular people really should not have told this particular story. Even the most heartbreaking and disturbing moments come across so paint-by-numbers that it becomes impossible to have any affective attachment to them, because you will have likely seen them done better in the past.
Again, the story being told here is absolutely worthy of cinematic representation and historical preservation, but potential viewers might be better off reading through online articles than sitting through two hours of this ultimately disappointing feature.
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Shahbaz Khayambashi: @Shakhayam