Cannes 2018: #MeToo, Weinstein and gender politics

Row over Kurdish women fighters film

A view of the Palais des Festivals, the venue for the 71st Cannes Film Festival, on Monday.

A view of the Palais des Festivals, the venue for the 71st Cannes Film Festival, on Monday.   | Photo Credit: AP


While some critics excoriated Husson’s handling of the story, others at Cannes praised her for the effort

A harrowing film about Kurdish women fighters taking on Islamic State jihadists sparked a furious row between critics at the Cannes film festival on Sunday — with some being accused of misogyny.

Girls of the Sun, which follows a platoon of Yazidi women battling the extremists who had enslaved them and their children, was premiered at the same time as one person was killed and four others wounded in a knife attack in Paris claimed by IS.

The movie, with Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani as a lawyer who picks up an AK47 to lead the Sun Brigade of survivors, is set in Kurdistan in the days leading up to the November 13 Paris terror attacks, in which 130 people died.

The premiere followed a historic protest on the Cannes red carpet by Hollywood stars and female filmmakers demanding equal pay and an end to sexism.

A small number who had booed the film were shouted down by others. “It’s not about you, dude. Not your time to talk,” one said.

The divide was equally stark in the first reviews published on Sunday, with the French magazine Telerama calling the war film “naive and inconsequential”, while others said it was a “disservice to a noble cause”.

But IndieWire’s David Ehrlich said it was impossible not to be moved by it and called it a “surefire Palme (d’Or) contender”, referring to the festival’s top prize. He conceded that there “was a little too much paprika on the sandwich where none would have done nice, but (French director) Eva Husson is one hell of a filmmaker.”

But several French critics excoriated Ms. Husson’s handling of the story, arguing that some of the women characters were paper thin.

The Hollywood Reporter praised Ms. Husson for “shining a light on an important and terrifying story.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:53:38 PM |

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