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The Wicker Man (1973)

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By Moira Sullivan

On the idyllic Scottish islet of Summerisle, the best fruits and vegetables, livestock and crops grow. Wickerman is a film about this island directed by Robin Hardy based on the 1967 novel Ritual by David Pinner.

Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives by seaplane and in the distance, the local men reluctantly send over a dinghy so he can come ashore. The men are rustic, provincial and salty and that goes for pretty much for all the inhabitants of this islet. Sergeant Howie is looking for a missing child - Rowan Morrison. He first stop is at the shop run by Mrs. Morrison who lives with her young daughter. He helps her fill in the color for a drawing of a rabbit. "Everyone knows Rowan, silly", she says,  "and is mostly likely playing in the field". - "A rabbit, silly!". This is the first of many tricks that Sergeant Howie experiences. At the local inn he is served a meal from cans - not fresh produce that the island is known for. He fi…

Girls of the Sun

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By Moira Sullivan


Girls of the Sun directed and written by French filmmaker Eva Husson is in San Francisco and one of three films made by women selected for the official competition at Cannes last May. It is an ambitious effort that tells the story of female soldiers called the "Girls of the Sun" battalion, based on a true story from August 2014 set in the Sinjar Mountains of northern Iraq. This was Yazidi territory with 300,000 inhabitants. It becomes the prime target of ISIS attacks in genocidal warfare affecting  Yazidi’s who do not escape in time. The female battalion is committed to rescuing their young boys forced to attend Jihadist schools. The impetus to their bravery is born out of misery - 2000 women and children are driven to destinations in Raqqa in Iraq where they are sexually assaulted, tortured, sold as slaves or forced to marry.

Since a woman’s army is unusual for a film (Born in Flames (1984) by Lizzie Borden is a classic example of "speculative fiction…