Released in October 2019, SISTERS IN ARMS is a French war drama which is based upon events that took place in the middle east. Directed by Caroline Fourest, it tells the story of two young French women (Kenza and Yael) who decide to go to Syria to fight with the Kurdish forces that are battling the Islamic State, who are attempting to dominate certain areas of the country. Whilst there they meet another young woman Zara who is a Yezidi survivor. The film shows that although the women are from vastly different cultures they become united because of the fight they have undertaken and gain strength from each other whilst at the same time managing to not only set their ghosts of the past to rest but also because of their new found friendship and growing strength strike fear into the hearts and souls their enemies. The movie was originally entitled RED SNAKE, and features the acting talents of Dilan Gwyn as Zara, Camélia Jordana as Kenza, Esther Garrel as Yaël and Mark Ryder as Al Britani. The musical score is by composer Mathieu Lamboley, who has created a very romantically led work for a war filled drama. The composer eloquently utilises Female wordless voice in a number of the cues, with the opening track THE RECKLESSNESS ARIA setting the scene perfectly, the composer combining the haunting aural performance with underlying strings that enhance and support the vocal performance wonderfully. For me there is a stillness and serene quality to this opening piece, which not only entertains but hypnotises. In many ways it evokes the haunting and enthralling performances of Italian soprano Edda dell Orso, but in this case it is I think rather more subtle and has to it a lilting and more fragile sound. Track two, TRAGIC DAY, opens with a rather more tense fashion, but this then melts away as strings underline a melancholy cello performance that itself introduces a darker and more unpredictable style, which is not only apprehensive but has to it sinister atmospherics. Track three, THE CAGE, is also a darker affair which strings creating an uneasy mood, again the sense of tension is masterfully purveyed by the composer. Track four is a vocal performed by Bobbie, which is entitled SISTERS IN ARMS, that is to be fair not an unpleasant song. She pops up again on the final track which is called SUNRISE IS ON YOU, again a nice lyric and good performance. Track five, THE LIBERATION ARIA is a variation on the opening track, again Female wordless solo voice is dominating the proceedings with strings once again acting as effective support to enhance and also enrich the performance. Track number six, THE FIRST BATTLE is a more percussive performance, with the composer utilising the dark and growling synthetics combined with threatening percussion and driving but not overpowering strings, which together create a musical persona which is edge of the seat material, but midway through alters direction and becomes quite low key and edgy.
The dark and ominous sounds are again evident in the track THE LAST ASSAULT, but the composer in this case seems to up the tempo and increase the urgency, with strings and percussion that are laced with synthetic sounds to fashion a greater sense of danger. Again, THE LAST ASSAULT alters direction approx: mid-way through and becomes a softer and even slightly romantic piece. Track number seven, ZARA’S LETTER I think is one of the scores many highlights, and is a cue that just resonates with me personally, it is filled with emotion and poignancy, with strings featuring centre stage but the composer then introduces a particularly delicate sounding piano performance which via its fragility creates a mood that oozes sadness and also loneliness. This is a score that I recommend It deserves a listen. Also check out the composers scores for, LE RETOUR DU HEROS, MINUSCULE: MANDIBULES FROM FAR AWAY and GARDE ALTERNEE which like SISTERS IN ARMS are all available on digital platforms. You are in for a treat.