Mustang

Dir Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Yes, good and very engagingly filmed. Five lively, high-spirited Turkish sisters are rounded up by their uncle and grandmother, taken out of school and confined in their increasingly fortified home to learn to become suitable brides. There’s a gruesome tension between the beautiful, sensual images on the screen and your growing realisation that the girls’ forced conformity to conservative traditions is a matter of life and death. It’s not all negative: there’s pleasure to be had in learning to cook and the first attempt at making chewing gum, and the eldest sister marries the boy she loves, but that’s about it. Predictably, the girls’ mandatory virginity is more at risk at home than outside. The youngest sister (through whose eyes we see most of the film and who sees her likely fate unfold four times) is a delight to watch, even if the escape to Istanbul she engineers is a bit cartoonish.

I recall recent reports of Erdogan’s strictures on women’s roles and behaviour . . .

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