t January 2016 | sh C. K. Kelly Martin o

Filmmaker’s Deniz Gamze Ergüven horrifying portrait of patriarchy and it’s impact on five free-spirited Turkish sisters is the most powerful film I've seen this year. In my opinion Mustang deserves a best picture Oscar. Not just best foreign film, best picture. Incandescently candid performances by the five young actors are the heart of the film. We admire them in the full flame of youth—spirited and fiercely joyful, play-fighting among a group of boys at the beach—and are shattered when their uncle takes over the parent-less girls upbringing from their grandmother, trampling their potential and, after virginity testing and turning the house into a literal prison (high walls and bars are erected), ordering them—one by one—to marry.

When the second daughter, Selma, is reluctantly wed and fails to bleed after her wedding night, family drags her along to a doctor. He questions her about her virginity and when she apathetically replies she has slept with every man around he counters she indeed has not because he can see her intact hymen. Why say that then, he wonders? Selma's answer: because nobody believes her anyway.

It’s the youngest sister, Lale, who has absorbed the full strength of her sisters' untamed essence and as the girls’ situations grow ever more urgent her rebellion is an act of survival and courage.

Beautiful, harrowing and moving, please don't miss Deniz Gamze Ergüven's stunning debut film.

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