Mustang. 2015. France. Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven. 141 min.
With Dogba Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Gunes Sensoy, Ilayda Akdogan, Tugba Sunguroglu. The end of the school year signals the end of innocence in this coming-of-age ensemble drama set in a Black Sea village in Turkey. Five free-spirited and orphaned sisters aged 13 to 17 become the subject of local gossip after being seen frolicking with boys by the seaside. Overnight, their conservative grandmother and uncle, who act as their guardians, turn their home into a de facto prison and quickly make plans to marry them off to agreeable matches. In her feature debut, director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, born in Turkey and based in France, deftly brings together the disparate forces of oppression, submission, and rebellion. The luminous and sensual cinematography, which injects hope and liberation, is contrasted with a dark narrative that brings a sense of doom at every turn. Courtesy of Cohen Film Group.