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
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 »
When the girls go to the football match, the jerseys they are wearing are those of the opposing Galatasaray team and not the local team, Trabzonspor. See more »
The house became a wife factory that we never came out of.
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Mustang is a Turkish movie inspired by Sofia Coppola's Virgin Suicides. It takes place in a remote village in Turkey and follows the story of five sisters whose very conservative family slowly takes away all forms of 'perversion' away from them in order to make them 'suitable wives'.
The movie doesn't beat you over the head with its feminist message but lets the drama unfold naturally. The tone is surprisingly sweet and even funny in places for a movie with such a subject matter. First time director Deniz Gamze Ergüven has a strong grip on tone; she never allows the movie to become too gritty for its own good. The girls are not defined by the plot like it's often the case with this type of movies; they have moments of laughs and happiness which never undermine the seriousness of the subject matter.
The performances from the lead actresses are phenomenal. The youngest girl blew me away - not once do you feel like she's acting. Their performances is what make them so distinctive from each other and not just stand-ins for Oppressed Muslim Girls TM like it's often the case.
Mustang is easily one of the best feminist movies of the year, proudly sitting next to The Diary of a Teenage Girl. It's sincere and heartfelt, it's not preachy but honest and it shows great premise for the future of its director. Don't miss it!
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