52 FILMS BY WOMEN: #12. Mustang (2015) [Turkey/France] – Deniz Gamze Ergüven


Mustang (2014) Turkey/Russia/France

– Deniz Gamze Ergüven


Mustang is a moving tale about a group of sisters stuck in a traditionalist Turkish environment as they long for modernity. At the end of the school year 5 sisters frolic with classmates unaware of the events to follow.

Upon returning to their grandmother and uncle’s house the five orphaned girls Lale, Nur, Selma, & Ece are confronted by a traditionalist grandmother who has been told that the girls have shamed themselves in public.

Fearing that this will make it impossible to find husbands, the grandmother sets out to contain, educate and marry each girl away in a traditional Turkish manner. The only problem is…these girls all of independents spirits that long for modernity.

Through each ritual coffee, one-by-one the girls are split with some tragic and heart-breaking outcomes.

This is a beautiful, must watch piece that speaks to the independent spirit of women, even in a repressive community. The acting, directing, and pacing is sublime. You are drawn into their world and fighting with them in spirit, while still having a soft spot of empathy for the grandmother and uncle who only what to do right by the town’s traditions. In this #MeToo world we live in speaks volumes to courage, love, and the tenacity of spirit.