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Girls Of The Sun Film Screening In Cannes

Girls Of The Sun (original title: Les Filles Du Soleil), was one of our top favorite films this year in Cannes. And whether it was intended to be a feminist movie or not, it carried a message about women empowerment in a non-traditional context or story. A film within a turbulent year witnessed in history of global initiatives launched like the #metoo campaign.

The film, part of the official selection of the competition in the Cannes Film Festival, is directed by Eva Husson and stars Golshifteh Farahani and Emmanuelle Bercot.

Girls Of The Sun talks about a group of women soldiers who will defy all odds to liberate their hometown from ISIS. Through the eyes of a French journalist, Mathilde (Emmanuelle Bercot) risks her life for a good story and follows Bahar (Golshifteh Farahani) in Kurdistan who is leading a troop of emotionally wounded females seeking freedom of land.

Women, Life, Liberty are the recurrent themes, and Golshifteh Farahani delivers an exceptional performance of a heroin, a fighter and a role model.

The film is inspired by real events of the invasion of ISIS on the Yazidis, a minority group, in Iraq back in 2014. And while some have fled the land, other were massacred, young girls were forced into sex slavery and boys into indoctrination to join the extremist group. With no international aid, the women who have lost their families and loved ones, decide to take things in their own hands. The women learned to operate guns as they realized that they were the only hope for freeing their land from ISIS soldiers. The latter who believe that if they die at the hand of a woman they won’t go to heaven.

Eva Husson discussed the inspiration behind her film: “As the granddaughter of a Spanish Republican soldier, I’ve been very interested in the notion of lost ideals.” In 2006, she began working on a project about the concentration camps in France where Spanish refugees were kept in the wake of the civil war since her grandfather had been in one of those camps. And when she heard about these Kurdish women, it resonated with her family history. "And of course there was something else, something even more powerful: the story of these women fighters, captured by extremists, who had escaped horrible situations, and in the end committed themselves to fight back against their abductors,” she added.

For the preparation and research, Husson tried to meet with as many of the Kurdish factions as possible. She went to the front and visited the refugee camps to speak with women who had escaped, the women who had committed themselves to the fight, and listened to their testimony

And when asked if it’s a “women’s film,” Eva stated that she believes this term expresses a masculine bias. She explained “I think my generation needs to speak about it differently… On the other hand, what interests me is that it raises a question about the meaning of this formulation; it proves that there aren’t enough representations of women by women in cinema… The history of cinema is 95% composed of a masculine perspective on the world. If we use this expression, it’s also because we’re still lacking enough women’s perspectives in cinema to extract this universality. So let’s get to work!”

Article by G.N.