Mustang – Director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Mustang is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and is a worthy contender. The film tells the story of five orphaned sisters in Turkey being raised by their very conservative uncle and grandmother. After a particularly exuberant walk home from school, the girls are pulled from school, locked in their home and trained to be married off. The three eldest are quickly locked into arranged marriages that they don’t want. Their reactions offer great insight into the struggle between the generations in Muslim culture. The two youngest girls are too young to be married and begin to plot their escape. The youngest, Lale, is the most liberated of them all and is the brains behind the resistance. At age 10 or 11 as best as I could guess, she leads the escape. One is left thinking what her plan is. Her plan is to go to Istanbul which is over 1000 km away. But this includes learning to drive so she can steal her uncle’s car and drive it 1000 KM and hey? how does she see two young girls surviving on their own in a big city. There is however a plan and it is revealed at the end. In fact, it is revealed at the very start of the film and I smacked my head for not seeing it. The oppression of women looks like it is going to win but in the end a somewhat happy ending for at least two of the sisters. Great film, not too long and very good.