Mustang is a 2015 Turkish-French feaure film debut by director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, which follows the lives of five orphaned sisters who are sent to live with their traditionally conservative uncle and grandmother in a remote Turkish village.
A single event at the beginning of the film, based on a personal experience of Ergüven’s, leads to an indefinite and absolute curfew being imposed, which even includes a ban on attending school.
Forced to dress in drab, conservative clothing and imprisoned in the home, the girls are are taught how to cook, clean and sew by visiting female relatives. Meanwhile their grandmother takes the girls one-by-one into town “to get lemonade”, which is quickly revealed as an opportunity to show them off to potential suitors for marriage.
The oldest sister, Sonay, begins to rebel, sneaking out occasionally to meet a lover, while Lale, the youngest girl who is also a football fan, looks for various ways to escape. As secrets and inevitable tragedies unfold, a much darker story is revealed, with the intense and growing bond between the sisters emerging as their best hope for survival and eventual freedom.
The film received widespread critical praise including nominations for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film as well as winning Best First Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Original Music at the 41st César Awards, the 2015 Europa Cinemas Label Award; the 2015 Lux Prize, and the Polish Filmmakers’ Association Award for Best Feature Movie.