Director Deniz Gamze Erguyen shows the limited options facing women in rural Turkey in this film which starts with some harmless fun on the beach between five young orphaned girls and their male classmates. Unfortunately for the girls, the scene is misinterpreted and the girls end up quarantined behind forbidding walls and barred windows. Some of the girls are forced into arranged marriages. All are instructed by older women into how to make their husbands happy.
The film was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar, submitted by France, Ms. Erguyen’s current home.(The Turkish government took a dim view of the film,even though two of the girls yearn to escape to the relatively cosmopolitan environs of Istanbul which is – duh! – in Turkey. )
The film was a matter of determination for director Erguyen, who tells imdb.com, ” It took nine years from leaving film school until Mustang was screened at Cannes, and those years were demoralising … “ It was in large part thanks to French film-maker Alice Winocur ( who ended co-writing the screenplay with Ms. Erguyen) that the film finally saw the dark of night in a movie theatre.
If you were not aware (or did not care) about the shabby treatment of women of any age all over the world, this film will certainly increase your awareness after viewing this excellent film. (Yes, it has English subtitles.)