Film Review: Girls of the Sun — A female Kurdish battalion gives Daesh a drubbing

A still from the film 'Girls of the Sun'. (Supplied)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Film Review: Girls of the Sun — A female Kurdish battalion gives Daesh a drubbing

  • 'Girls of the Sun' is a war drama
  • The film is a fictional story based on a true story

CHENNAI: Eva Husson’s war drama “Girls of the Sun” is hitting movie theaters just as the world’s attention is once again focused on northern Iraq, where this fictional story, based on a true story, is set. It also comes as Hollywood, under attack for underrepresentation of women in the industry, is trying to stamp out gender inequality.

With the exiled Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani in the role of Bahar, commander of a Kurdish unit battling Daesh, “Girls of the Sun” is a paean to the courage and never-say-die attitude of a band of female combatants. From a bored but extremely patient wife in “The Patience Stone” to a Rajasthani woman in “The Song of Scorpions,” Farahani has a brilliant range.

In “Girls of the Sun” Bahar and her comrades take advantage of a male jihadi superstition that death at the hands of a woman will push them straight into hell. A university graduate from Iraq and once a lawyer by profession, Bahar was sold into virtual slavery, her husband murdered and her young son sent away to be trained as a rebel soldier.

Another strong female character is Mathilde (Emmanuelle Bercot), a French war reporter who lost an eye in a conflict zone and has landed in Iraq – a character obviously modelled on American journalist Marie Colvin who died covering the siege of Homs in Syria in early 2012. A film based on Colvin’s life, “A Private War,” has since been made.

French director Husson, the granddaughter of Spanish Republican soldiers, is believed to have written “Girls of the Sun” to explore the theme of resistance against fascist oppression. The message is decidedly feminist, the script is powerful and the action sequences are true to life.

According to one study, women accounted for just 8 percent of directors of the 250 highest-grossing Hollywood films made in 2018. The overall percentage of women in behind-the-scenes movie roles rose to a paltry 20 percent from 18 percent in 2017. “Girls of the Sun,” which competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, marks a step by Hollywood in the right direction.


Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

Updated 16 February 2019
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Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

  • The discovery was made on the Mata Indio dig site in the northern Lambayeque region
  • Despite evidence of looting, archaeologists recovered items including vases

LIMA: Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.
The discovery was made on the Mata Indio dig site in the northern Lambayeque region, archaeologist Luis Chero told state news agency Andina.
Archaeologists believe the tomb belonged to a noble Inca based on the presence of “spondylus,” a type of sea shell always present in the graves of important figures from the Incan period, which lasted from the 12th to the 16th centuries.
The tomb had been broken into multiple times, possibly in search of treasure. But despite evidence of looting, archaeologists recovered items including vases.
The tomb also had unique architecture including hollows for the placement of idols.
Chero said the findings “demonstrate the majesty and importance of this site,” located 1,000 kilometers north of the capital Lima, and 2,000 kilometers from Cusco — capital of the Inca empire which stretched from southern Colombia to central Chile.