Friday, May 27, 2016


Moira and I went along to the Watershed yesterday afternoon to see Deniz Gamze Erguven’s film “Mustang”… set in a remote Turkish coastal village. When five orphaned sisters are spotted harmlessly playing with boys on the beach, such "scandalous" behaviour is reported to their grandmother and uncle… who begin a tyrannical regime of imprisonment (to “safeguard their marriage prospects”)… the house ends up becoming a “wife factory”… you get the general idea!
It’s a film which underlines the male dominance of Turkish society… where men seem to feel that have a “right” to pursue women for sex but, at the same time, insist on only marrying a virgin.
A very sad state of affairs.
The Watershed programme contained an extract of an interview with director Erguven in which she was critical of the “constant and hideous sexualisation of women” in Turkey. In it, she also expresses her concern about the increasing censorship in Turkey.
It’s a stark, powerful film – which thankfully includes a fair amount of humour as well as the harsh treatment of the five girls. I’ve seen a number of critics comparing the film to “The Virgin Suicides” and that’s probably appropriate… but I think that, for me, it’s the robust depiction of sisterhood that comes across most strongly.
Definitely worth seeing…

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