Two things normally pop into my mind when I hear the word 'mustang': Supernatural and McLeod's Daughters; two of my favourite TV shows ever. So when I received a text from Emily a few weeks ago suggesting we go see the Turkish film, Mustang, I had already concocted an interesting enough premise that made me nod my head with vigour and send a text agreeing to watch it. Oh how divergent were my version of the film and that of Mustang's co-writers, Deniz Gamze Ergüven & Alice Winocour.
The whirlwind becoming of 5 seemingly scandalous sisters in a village in northern Turkey one hot summer - that is what I'd say Mustang, Deniz Gamze Ergüven's directorial debut, is essentially about. Morality, innocence, womanhood, freedom, patriarchy, love and fragility of life are but a handful of themes the captivating script explored as it highlighted the need for kindness, shades of shame and power of drive. Based on a similar experience the French-Turkish director had, the difficult subject matter was told in a very charismatic way and leant on humour at times to cushion the cruel blows the passionate sisters faced.
I do not know a great deal about Turkey and the only other film I have seen that have given me a glimpse of its culture is Hasret (Yearning). But from the little I have been exposed, there is a sense of familiarity and curiosity that makes the films I've seen so far hit a little close to home, perhaps due to some cultural similarities between Nigeria and Turkey. Mustang, which went onto win the Europa Cinemas prize at Cannes, starts off light-hearted and playful but swiftly goes through periods of imprisonment, enlightenment and despair - not necessarily in that order. We learn about the hurdles the girls face through the eyes of the youngest sister, Lale (played by Günes Sensoy) which grants us a less brutal version of what each sister goes through but we also learn just how close, hopeful and inventive the sisters Ece (played by Elit Iscan), Lale, Nur (played by Doga Zeynep Doguslu), Selma (played by Tugba Sunguroglu) and Sonay (played by Ilayda Akdogan) are.
If you get the chance to see Mustang I say take it but if you need a bit more to sway your decision, then check out the trailer below. This film may not leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy but it will tickle you whilst sharpening your perspective on life and your freedom.