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
Playground for Sisters is Transformed to Wife Factory
Five sisters play in the sand, sunlight, sea and a grove of apple trees. Because boys are present the innocent play is easily twisted, by an envious conservative busy-body, into something sinister. The orphan girls are reported as "whores." Their caretakers, an uncle and grandmother, are much less concerned about the truth than what the neighbors might say. The girls are confined to their house and relegated to shapeless brown dresses, cooking lessons and virginity tests. Banned items include phones, internet and any item capable of outside communication. Their once beautiful and happy playground on the Black Sea is transformed into a "wife-factory" with bars on the windows. Each girl deals with the physical and emotional imprisonment in different ways, sometimes hopeful and often not. The non-professional actors do really well. The girls are especially good because they gel so well together. On the other hand, some of the scenes and actors seem forced and unrealistic. As usual, this independent and worthy film might have benefited from better support. The film as a whole pulls some punches and risks becoming the Walt Disney of Turkey for its glossy portrayals of serious stuff. Then again, that might be the only way the film could be released widely? The moral here, for the girls' caretakers, is that you are likely to get burned if you fight fire with fire. "Evil must be your only happiness," when you see evil everywhere.
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