Registration: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
By: Günes Sensoy, Elit Iscan, Ilayda Akdogan etc.
France / Germany / Turkey / Qatar, 2015 (97 min)
the girls in their school uniforms thugs in the waves. Finally graduation! Giggly and snorting with laughter playing in the water, sitting on each other’s shoulders. Flops in. The feeling of freedom with his euphoria is captured nicely. A moment later the fruit pallets with such insolence that the landowner takes up the rifle. Summer vacation beckons, they own the air they breathe, the gravel road the rushes on. Everything is possible. Everything is in play even when they reach the front door, and enters the hall in the grandmother’s house. There turned abruptly happiness to despair, while each of the sisters punished by the older woman for her “indecent behavior”. Grandmother “have probably heard.” How they shamed her and her uncle, how they should be “rubbed their genitals against the boys’ necks.”
Turkish-French director Deniz Gamze Ergüven debuts with an outstanding strong, surprising and in many situations deeply unpleasant story about the oppression of women and misogyny. It was a long time since I saw such a strong portrayed settlement with the culture of honor, consistently told from the girls’ perspective.
On several levels, not least through its visual brilliance at times heightened the clean image poetry, recalls the drama of Sissakos masterful film Timbuktu if the desert town whose inhabitants are becoming more limited freedom. Replace a football game without the ball against a swim without water and you will understand what I mean. A proud resistance to the last. Intransigence against all odds.
The Mustang was France’s Oscars set in a small Turkish village on the Black Sea, where the tradition requires women to be chaste and passive. To laugh in public is prohibited, as well as being provocative. When they marry, they must be virgins, then they should spend the rest of his life to husband, home and children.
The film orphaned sisters must go on ‘virginity check’ and is then placed under house arrest. Jeans, tank tops and sneakers are exchanged for full brown dresses. The home is becoming more of a prison and a “wife factory” in order to turn the disobedient girls into obedient wives. The sisters can no longer go to school. It gets even worse when they manage to escape to go to the football game in town – a match that was televised by their cheering faces in close-up.
One by one, the sisters then gifts away in arranged marriages. Only the oldest is allowed, after loud protests, the genuine she really loves.
The youngest sister, football saved Lale nicely played by Günes Sensoy questions boldly the increasing control of their tyrannical uncle Erol dictates. When nothing further help, she learns to drive a reluctant road truck driver with his unexpected support and their long hair helps to nuance the image of the village’s men.
The sisters with their very different temperaments trying different ways to tackle ambient unreasonable demands. Hot and hatred broods over them, and claustrophobia are becoming more apparent.
In the film End minute tears roll freely along my cheeks after a touching scene that still seems more logical than sentimental. All to the tune of Warren Ellis and Nick Cave emotive music.
The darkness and tragedy gets its counterweight in the warm, intimate portrayal of sisterhood and longing for freedom. An indomitable love and fellowship will take place, of the kind that defies domination technique and abuse.