12/10/2017 19:45.
Cert 15

Set in a village where traditional values are the norm, five young orphaned sisters live under the guardianship of their uncle and grandmother. Following some high spirits at the end of school term the girls are confined to their home while their future is determined by their uncle. Beautifully shot with the girls’ relationship at the centre of the drama, the film shows how they endeavour to break free from their internment. “The insights into Islamic issues with female sexuality are shrewd and sincere, while the performances of the largely non-professional cast are excellent.” David Parkinson,

Dir: Deniz Gamze Ergüven 97mins Turkey 2015

Programme Notes

Making her feature debut, Turkish actress and writer Deniz Gamze Ergüven (A Drop of Water, 2006; Kings, 2017) directs this piece involving five orphans who have just broken up from their village school for the summer. However, when boys enter the mix, the orphans’ lives are restricted and confined by their conservative guardians. The film follows them as they struggle to cope with the new regime and chronicles what happens to each of them through this ordeal. Mustang was nominated for the 2016 Best Foreign Film Oscar (losing out to Son of Saul (Hungary, 2015)). However, it earned Ergüven the Label Europa Cinemas award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The film did well at the 2017 CinEuphoria Awards, scooping an Audience Award as one of their Top Ten of the Year, alongside Tarintino’s The Hateful Eight (2016) and A Monster Calls (2016). The director, as well as most of the young cast, picked up the Honorary Freedom of Expression Award at the same ceremony.


“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” Nicolas Rapold, the New York Times

“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” Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Lale – Günes Sensoy
Nur – Doga Zeynep Doguslu
Selma – Tugba Sunguroglu
Ece – Elit Iscan
Sonay – Ilayda Akdogan
Grandmother – Nihal G. Koldas
Director – Deniz Gamze Ergüven 
Producer – Warren Ellis
Writers – Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Alice Winocour
Original Music – Charles Gillibert
Cinematography – David Chizallet, Ersin Gok


  • Simply great!
  • After last week, that’s more like it ABCD! A powerful, angry, political but charming film. Beautifully acted and filmed. Thank you for the chance to see it
  • A lovely film. I loved the way in which Lale was able to rescue herself and her sister from the prison that is womanhood and marriage for so many Turkish women
  • Lovely film, beautifully shot – and what lovely girls! A real eye-opener into another culture and set of customs
  • Beautifully filmed – very moving
  • Riveting picture of escape from primitive village society to educated Istanbul. I felt very sorry for their grandmother, though
  • Beautiful film, with great contrast between cosmopolitan Istanbul and rural eastern Turkey
  • Had an excellent ensemble cast with an abundance of youthful energy throughout the dramatic events depicted. PS: Shall we start a drinking game [?] every time some one moans about sound and American dialects?
  • Traditional Turkey meets teenage angst. Very, very good!
  • An interesting take on female life in Turkey: quite entertaining
  • Very interesting. Good sound, good story
  • Gothic! Well produced – very good
  • Good – but I got confused
  • Midnight Cowboy for girls – but with a better ending
  • I presume the ‘teacher’ then sold them into slavery – but that will be for the sequel
  • Not quite a Turkish Delight?
  • The original Blade Runner, not the sequel [but which of (according to Mark Kermode) the seven versions, including the Ridley Scott-approved director’s cut, so far released on DVD?]


A:18, B:10, C:3, D:0, E:0 to give 87% from 94% of those present.