Foreign Film - France; Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Five sisters whose parents have died live in northern Turkey with their grandmother and uncle. On their way home from the last day of school, they are spotted playing at the beach with boy classmates, and their nosy neighbor turns them in. The uncle begins to modify their home into a more and more secure prison, not allowing the girls to go out. Then begins wedding season.
Innocently enough, the oldest two girls (who by 1st world standards would still be too young for marriage, but by more traditional religious standards are perhaps old enough) are matched - one with the boy that she loves, and one with a young man who seems at least age appropriate, even if the bride is reluctant. As the girls leave the nest, the imprisonment becomes more severe, and the younger girls fear for their well being as they are clearly not old enough by any measure to get married. The youngest of the five is very clever and entrepreneurial, and their lives may all depend on her.
Mustang is a very good film and hard to relate to from a western lens. If we can agree objectively that young children shouldn't be married off against their wills (which I hope we can), then I think we will also agree that the tension in this film is handled perfectly, lulling us into a false sense of security as the first two reasonable marriages happen and then turning such a sharp corner into trapping the younger girls into disastrous situations.