Eva Husson leads her battalion of Girls of the Sun into Competition

Film still of Les Filles du soleil (Girls of the Sun) © RR

In her first film, Bang Gang (2015), a boundary-breaking teen movie, Eva Husson tackled the issue of recapturing intimacy. Les Filles du soleil (Girls of the Sun), In Competition, is about a whole other type of recapturing, carried out by a mainly female battalion, led by Golshifteh Farahani.

Les Filles du soleil (Girls of the Sun), is the story of Bahar, a Kurdish Yazidi lawyer kidnapped by the men in black. She manages to escape and forms a commando unit of female fighters to recapture their town in Kurdistan.

The film highlights the struggle of women against obscurantism. Eva Husson has gathered hours of testimony to flesh out her tale, which is directly inspired by recent news events. The film echoes the experiences of the Kurdish women fighters engaged in conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. With their Kalashnikovs in their hands, they were the face of the struggle which took the West by surprise in 2015.

The war itself is not the heart of the film for Eva Husson; she uses it to illustrate the bravery of women against a system designed to crush them. With Les Filles du soleil, she presents us with a war film which is purely feminine and feminist, with no testosterone-heavy prejudice in sight. She dedicated the film, her first, to "all the feminists of yesterday and today" and chose Golshifteh Farahani to lead the combat and Emmanuelle Bercot (Best Actress Award 2015 for Mon Roi) in the role of a war reporter.

The rest of the casting was a long, drawn-out task for Eva Husson. She had to assemble a company of actresses who could speak Kurdish, which meant weeks of research in Germany, Georgia, Turkey and Sweden. This was crucial in order to convey the courage of the female combatants with the maximum realism.