Mustang – A Dark Turkish Fairy Tale Movie

While reading fairy tales as a child I never understood why the girl protagonist was so weak and defenseless and had to wait for a prince to come save her to achieve happiness. At that time I did not understand that society wants girls to be helpless and dependent on men. Even if sexism and inequality between men and women exists in all societies, there are different realities in several countries. But what strikes me the most is the inequality that can exist inside one country, for instance between the countryside and the cities. Take Turkey for instance, where Istanbul is a free and modern city and the countryside still has the mentality of medieval times.

A wonderful but sad description of this circumstance of Turkish society is shown in the movie Mustang by female director Deniz Gamze. The movie was nominated for many awards this past season: the Oscars, the Golden Globes and in Cannes, where it premiered and even won. Nonetheless it was rather a coincidence that I went to a small independent cinema in Friedrichshain called Ladenkino to see this movie. My impressions of this film, after the jump.

Just after a few scenes I was completely captured by the female protagonists and the imagery of this visionary movie. I do not want to spoil so much of the story but you will already learn from the trailer that it is about 5 sisters who live with their grandmother. One day, rumors of their inadequate behavior with boys spread in the village and the family sees no other choice of saving their future than to lock them up inside the house and marry them off to basically strangers, one by one. The entire movie feels like a dark fairy tale of another time. Every time you realize that the plot is set in the present, it feels extremely painful and so unfair towards these marvelous sisters, and all females like them.

I hope that the deserved success of this movie might have an influence on a Turkish society that still hangs onto their old traditions. I have nothing against traditions necessarily, but human rights are more valuable than any religion or rule of conduct. In any case, Mustang is a must-watch movie that will take you on an emotional journey you will not so easily forget.

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<a href="" target="_self">Claudio</a>