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Mustang

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Turkey, France, Germany

2015

Rated PG-13 • 1h 37m

Director Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Starring Güneş Nezihe Şensoy, Doğa Zeynep Doğuşlu, Elit İşcan, Tuğba Sunguroğlu

Genre Drama

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After innocently playing with boys, Lale and her four sisters are accused of indecency. To avoid bringing more "shame" to the family, the girls' guardians confine them in their own home, and begin arranging their marriages. But Lale, determined to fight for her siblings' freedom, has other plans.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Melanie Greenberg Profile picture for Melanie Greenberg

One of the most realistic and magical depictions of sisterhood I've seen in film. The tension between the adolescent awakening of the sisters and their family's forceful containment of it is impossible to look away from.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

The story's quiet power comes from its sensitive observation of the characters as normal, emancipated young modern women, with healthy desires and curiosities, whose supposed transgressions are imagined and then magnified in the judgmental minds of others.
70

Variety by Jay Weissberg

the director proves especially skilled with her cast of newcomers (of the thesps playing the sisters, only young Iscan, from “My Only Sunshine,” is a veteran), whose powerful individualism as well as their vibrant bond together are perfect vessels for the script’s message.
75

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

The exuberant life and liveliness that spills off the screen and the effortless sororal chemistry between these young actresses are compelling reasons to seek out Mustang.
70

Wall Street Journal by Joe Morgenstern

This sneaky shocker of a debut feature —sneaky because it’s so good at depicting the sisters’ joyousness before, and even after, darkness descends — was directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven from a script she wrote with Alice Winocour.
91

Entertainment Weekly by Leah Greenblatt

It’s not hard to see why Mustang has been dubbed the “Turkish Virgin Suicides.” Like Sofia Coppola’s dreamy, unsettling 1999 debut, it’s another first film by a young female director that focuses in feverish close-up on the adolescent awakening of five restless, radiant sisters — and the ruin that follows when their family tries to contain it.
83

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

The result, while less poetic and artful than Eugenides’ book or Coppola’s film, is much more emotionally direct, and pulls off a very tricky balancing act between bemoaning its characters’ fate and celebrating their resilience.
100

The New York Times by Nicolas Rapold

The ensemble of young actresses is a constantly restless and real presence, the perspective filtered mostly through the cheeky Lale but also through the group as a loving crew.
80

Screen International by Tim Grierson

What begins as a playful look at five young women’s rebellion against their strict upbringing soon becomes something far more stirring and emotional.

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