Resisting War and Expressing Hidden Desires

by Redação | 11 de abril de 2019 12:19 PM

By Roger Costa

GIRLS OF THE SUN

Intensely filmed as a brutally raw portrait of violence against women, director Eva Husson’s Cannes sensation is an accomplished contemporary war tale about the encounter between two women in the line of fire. In her third feature film, Husson demonstrates masterful skills that could easily describe her as a foreign Kathryn Bigelow. She injects adrenaline, suspense and explosive elements to the depiction of war activity, the same way as she delicately portraits the parallels between the two women and their personal fights and traumas. The film stars Golshifteh Farahani as a front leader in a women’s battalion fighting extremists to reclaim their Kurdish town, and Emmanuelle Bercot as the one-eyed journalist reporting their dangerous and lethal actions. As the harsh circumstances put them together, the journalist follows the group everywhere they go, as well as collects testimonies of the tragic events they all share, including the separation or killing of family members, they will create a special bond. Both women are struggling with the uncertainty about their children, the journalist cultivates an estranged relationship with her daughter, while the combatant has to endure the fact her son was taken away by the extremists. There’s also dilemmas with loss: the journalist is mourning her husband’s death, and the Kurdish is enduring memories of rape, humiliation and all sorts of abuse. They deliver convincingly emotional performances, creating an effective bridge of familiarity. Based on real facts, Husson crafted a thrilling war tale about female endurance and a bloody vengeful operation that made news worldwide and changed forever their lives. (Cohen Media Group. 4/12. Quad Cinemas NYC.)

WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY

A showcase for female empowerment, writer-director Madeleine Olnek’s third feature film is a highly entertaining and smartly funny take on the forbidden love encounters of iconic poet Emily Dickinson. Told through readings and memories of her lover, a cousin who lived next door and with whom she experienced a decades-long hidden lesbian affair, it depicts the conflicts of personality and sexuality of one of the most respectable writers of all time with a gentle, universal and approachable language. Actress Molly Shannon gets better in every role she takes in, and here she builds up a passionate, humorous and irreverent heroine with impressive techniques. She takes control of all emotional details with lifting humor and great presence, from the lonely moments of inspiration and writing process, to the incendiary yet lyric moments of private pleasure, and to her interactions with community members and colleagues. She won the Award for Best Actress at FilmOut Festival in San Diego, while director Olnek accepted the Best Narrative Award at Sidewalk Film Festival. Susan Ziegler also rules the screen with sensuality and maturity as Susan, Dickinson’s muse and object of desire. The fabulously touching piano soundtrack works beautifully along with the real letters presented on screen, which metaphorically express the author’s passions for life and women. The real poems and writings were meticulously researched with the support of Guggenheim foundation and were used with the permission of Harvard University Press. Olnek conceived an efficient and absorbing dramedy that points to many phases in the life of a great artist who didn’t live the fame and glory of her work, but experienced a fully passionate life. (Greenwich Entertainment. 4/12. Quad Cinemas and Landmark at 57 West NYC.)

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