Archive of films Mustang / Mustang

France / Germany / Turkey / Qatar
2015, 97 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2015

A feature debut that dazzled in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, the work presents an uncommonly strong rendering of five girls growing up in the Turkish countryside who come into conflict with their guardians’ authoritative and traditional notions concerning their desire for free self-determination. This directorial debut took two awards.


On their way home from school one sunny day, five sisters living in rural northern Turkey engage in innocent play by a lake with a group of local boys. But what is a harmless game for them, their traditional grandma and uncle see as an unacceptable and immoral scandal that uncomfortably reveals their daughters’ emerging sexuality. The girls’ home immediately becomes a prison where, isolated from the outside world, they are raised to adopt the proper morals and traditional roles of women in Muslim society. Based on the director’s personal experience with a highly conservative view of women’s identity, the film is an unusually sensitive and empathetic look at the world of adolescent girls and the conflict between their desire to determine their own lives and the strongly authoritarian and traditionalist views of their elders. Her look at the delicate subject of women’s role in society, explored from a universally comprehensible perspective, is accompanied by the excellent music of Warren Ellis.

Hubert Poul

About the director

Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Deniz Gamze Ergüven (b. 1978, Ankara) was born in Turkey but spent much of her youth in the United States and in France, where she graduated from the prestigious La Fémis film school. Her short graduation film Bir damla su (2006) – another film about women’s struggle against the authoritarian and patriarchal tendencies in Turkish society – was well received and was shown as part of the Cinéfondation section at Cannes. Shortly thereafter, it won the prestigious Leopards of Tomorrow award for young artists in Locarno. Most recently, she was working on a feature-length debut about the infamous riots in Los Angeles following a case of police violence in 1992. She postponed work on that film to make Mustang (2015), which was premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at this year’s festival in Cannes.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Screenplay: Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Alice Winocour
Dir. of Photography: David Chizallet, Ersin Gök
Music: Warren Ellis
Editor: Mathilde Van de Moortel
Art Director: Serdar Yemisci
Producer: Charles Gillibert
Production: CG Cinéma
Coproduction: Bam film, Vistamar Filmproduktion, Uhlandfilm, Doha Film Institute
Cast: Günes Sensoy, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Ilayda Akdogan, Tugba Sunguroglu
Sales: Kinology

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