As some of you who follow me on Twitter might know, I pledged to watch at least 52 films made by women by the end of 2016. The only film directed by a woman I’ve already watched this year is Mustang, which was also part of my “Oscars catch-up”.
I fell in love with Deniz Gamze Ergüven‘s first feature. The way she tells the story of these five sisters, the way she makes you care about them, is beautifully heartbreaking. The girls are portrayed by five wonderful actresses who shine throughout the film, giving natural performances and life to a brutally honest script.
Some have said that the themes explored in the film, and the explicit feminist message it vehicles, are so strong that they ultimately overshadow the final outcome, but I have to disagree with this claim. Mustang is clearly a political film, it denounces the situation of women in culturally underdeveloped areas of Turkey, but it also speaks universally through the eyes, smiles, words, and broken hopes of five young women.