79 user 258 critic

Mustang (2015)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 June 2015 (France)
2:02 | Trailer
When five orphan girls are seen innocently playing with boys on a beach, their scandalized conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Günes Sensoy Günes Sensoy ... Lale (as Günes Nezihe Sensoy)
Doga Zeynep Doguslu Doga Zeynep Doguslu ... Nur
Tugba Sunguroglu Tugba Sunguroglu ... Selma
Elit Iscan ... Ece
Ilayda Akdogan ... Sonay
Nihal G. Koldas ... The Grandmother (as Nihal Koldas)
Ayberk Pekcan ... Erol
Bahar Kerimoglu Bahar Kerimoglu ... Dilek
Burak Yigit Burak Yigit ... Yasin
Erol Afsin ... Osman
Suzanne Marrot Suzanne Marrot ... Aunt Hanife
Serife Kara Serife Kara ... The Great-Aunt
Aynur Komecoglu Aynur Komecoglu ... Aunt Emine
Sevval Aydin Sevval Aydin ... Erin
Enes Sürüm Enes Sürüm ... Ekin
Learn more

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Early summer. In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are walking home from school, playing innocently with some boys. The immorality of their play sets off a scandal that has unexpected consequences. The family home is progressively transformed into a prison; instruction in homemaking replaces school and marriages start being arranged. The five sisters who share a common passion for freedom, find ways of getting around the constraints imposed on them. Written by Festival de Cannes

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their spirit would never be broken



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and a rude gesture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director/writer Deniz Gamze Ergüven met her co-writer Alice Winocour at the Cannes Film Festival's Atelier for beginner film makers where they were the only two women attending the program. Ergüven was there to work on a film about the LA riots, which would become Kings (2017). After Ergüven failed to attract producers and financiers, Winocour suggested Ergüven do a smaller scale movie to prove that she was capable of directing. Together they started working on Mustang. See more »


The girls want to go to the Galatasaray-Trabzon match. They say to Yasin that they need to go to Trabzon. However, later when we see them on TV, the score shows Galatasaray's (GS) name first which means the match is in Istanbul not in Trabzon. See more »


Lale: The house became a wife factory that we never came out of.
See more »


Referenced in Mustang Q&A: Deniz Gamze Ergüven & Cast (2015) See more »


The Mother
Written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Performed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Publishing 2929 Tunes / BMG Sapphire Songs
(p) 2009 2929 Productions LLC
Courtesy of BMG Rights Management (France)
See more »

User Reviews

"Mustang" is a great title for a great example of a foreign film.
8 March 2016 | by dave-mcclainSee all my reviews

According to Wikipedia, "The English word mustang is derived from the Spanish word mestengo (variant of mesteño), defined as 'wild, stray, ownerless'." The image and idea of a wild, ownerless horse has inspired imaginations throughout the western world and led to the word mustang representing sports cars, airplanes, ships, cities, sports teams and even used by artists, musicians, businesses and by some politicians who consider themselves rogue agents of change. 2015 added to the word's long list of uses the French-Turkish drama "Mustang" (PG-13, 1:37), which became France's submission for the 88th Annual Academy Awards and was nominated for (and was a strong contender for) the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Given its subject matter and quality, "Mustang" is a great name for a great film.

The movie explores the relationships and lives of five adolescent sisters living in the seaside village of Inebolu in north-central Turkey. Inebolu is known for, among other things, the spirited (and successful) defense it mounted when attacked during the Turkish War for Independence. Fittingly, these five girls (played by Güneş Şensoy, Doğa Doğuşlu, Elit İşcan, Tuğba Sunguroğlu and İlayda Akdoğan) are also very spirited. You might even call them wild (in a strongly independent sense), they are kind of ownerless – as orphans living with their grandmother (Nihal Koldaş) and uncle (Ayberk Pekcan) – and they are quite prone to stray from the strict expectations of their strongly conservative society – as much as they can.

When the girls are caught innocently frolicking in the sea with some of their (gasp) male classmates one day after school, their lives change suddenly and dramatically. After much yelling and some beatings from their caregivers, the girls are confined to the house and lose almost all contact with the outside world, except for the people that their uncle and grandmother bring to the house. Telephones and computers are locked in a closet, bars are placed over the windows, clothing the girls chose for themselves are replaced by drab, formless dresses and daily life becomes an endless series of home economics classes in which female relatives come by to teach the girls how to be proper Turkish wives.

Also coming by the house is a parade of single young men with whom grandma begins arranging marriages for the girls. She's starting with the oldest and plans on working her way down the line. The girls, however, have other ideas. Without revealing too much about the rest of the movie, I'll just say that what grandma intends to be a succession of five cookie-cutter weddings doesn't work out exactly the way she and the girls' uncle plan. In spite of instances of abuse and the increasingly severe limitations on their personal freedom, the girls still fight to be themselves, spread their wings, meet boys on their own, keep supporting each other and enjoy each other's company as long as possible.

"Mustang" represents the best in foreign film. Besides co-writing the script, this is French-Turkish filmmaker Deniz Gamze Ergüven's directorial debut and she gives us a film which displays consistently expert tone and pacing. Some of the plot points feel overly dramatic, but this story takes an important look at extremely conservative southwestern Asia societies. Most westerners won't be able to readily relate to the lives of these girls, but the interesting story and very natural performances draw in the audience for an entertaining experience while helping them understand the world in which they live. "Mustang" is also largely a celebration of sisterhood and feminine empowerment, but it's hard to imagine anyone not being touched by this very personal and dramatic story. "A-"

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Turkey | France | Germany | Qatar



Release Date:

17 June 2015 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Mustang See more »

Filming Locations:

Inebolu, Kastamonu, Turkey See more »


Box Office


EUR1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,321, 22 November 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (as Dolby 5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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