Mustang is a coming-of-age drama about five orphan Turkish sisters who spend a haunting summer together in a remote Black Sea village. Shot in Turkish, the film adds a cultural twist to each of the sister's individual stories - from falling in love, to acquiescing to an arranged marriage, to having to take a virginity test, to survival. Their stories are woven together through their tight bond of sisterhood. Shot with a West European sensibility, Mustang is France's foreign language Oscar entry. This is Director Deniz Gamze Ergüven's debut film. Ergüven was born in Turkey and she grew up and went to school in France.
Mustang begins with the young, vivacious girls celebrating the end of their last day of school at the beach. They are with their male classmates and the games they play together in the sea are misinterpreted by residents as scandalous and immediately reported to their grandmother. When the girls return home, they are beaten first by their grandmother who has raised them since their parents died. They are also punished by their Uncle for their seemingly appalling behavior. Soon, anything in the house that could further corrupt or influence the girls - from magazines, to a computer and a phone - is taken away. Their grandmother replaces their fitted outfits with shapeless clothes she sews for them to wear. She also begins to teach the sisters domestic skills - training them to cook and serve guests. The girls rebel by finding ways to sneak out of the house and make friends with other boys. As a result, bars are promptly built around their home's windows and doors to imprison them inside.
As freedoms are taken away and each sister responds in her own way - from quietly coping to striking out in defiance - Mustang inspires viewers to react in surprise, outrage, and hope.