Set in modern day rural Turkey ( a thousand miles and two hundred years away from Istanbul) Mustang centres on the life of five orphaned sisters living a fairly normal teenage life with their exasperated Grandmother and traditionally paternalistic Uncle.
Seen through the eyes of the youngest and most feisty sister Lale (Gunes Sensoy) we follow the the sisters' virtual imprisionment in the family home as the adult relatives prepare the girls for marriage ( the only way they can maintain face within the local community who feel that the girls are rather more wayward than they admit to)
Initially Lale is sheltered from the degrading way of life even when their Uncle calls for the older girls' virgin status to be medically checked out. Nor is she aware of the growing sexual abuse going on in the family home , but gradually she becomes aware of the toxic nature of their existence, and it is her that hatches a plan for escape.
Mustang is a beautifully crafted movie. Not only is the story about archaic attitudes to women and womens' rights but it is a subtle and rather moving exploration of puberty and sexual awareness.
One scene in particular, lingers long in the mind and that that is when the five sisters escape their prison home to attend a football match in the capital. Because of bad behaviour of the male football fans, the national game is male supporter free, so amid thousands of other female spectators , the girls scream and dance and celebrate their new found freedom in a scene that lifts your heart like no other could.
I'll leave you with Jill's and Dawn Rene's novelty fruit entry for the Flower Show....more please readers...