Kurdish women fighters brought to life on the big screen

March 16, 2019
Women fighters taking on ISIS in Girls of the Sun.

Les Filles du Soleil (Girls of the Sun)
Written & directed by Eva Husson
Starring Golshifteh Farahani, Emmanuelle Bercot, Erol Afsin, Evin Ahmad
Showing at the French Film Festival across Australia in March – April

This is a war film unlike any other that you will see, written and directed by a woman, focusing on a squad of the Kurdish autonomous women’s protection units (YPJ). The systematic female enslavement and mass rape by ISIS are its subject matter. 

Co-starring Iranian actor Golshifteh Farahani and France’s Emmanuelle Bercot, it is gritty and enthralling. It is by turns emotionally confronting and nerve-racking in its battle scenes.

Filmmaker Eva Husson heavily researched the issues before filming. The characters and events are a mash up of real people and episodes in the Syrian civil war.  

This is a movie for a broad audience, not a pedantic political lesson. For example, the script passes over the factional differences between the revolutionary-democratic Rojava forces and the capitalist-oriented, Iraqi-based Peshmerga. 

Watching the women fighters, motivated by their slogan of “Women, Life, Freedom” taking on and defeating ISIS terrorists is wonderful. Also wonderful is the respectful and tender relations between the fighters. 

The YPJ and the Rojava Revolution are a window into a better world and this film contributes to telling their story.

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