Besides being a Golden Globe nominee, Mustang, which opens tomorrow in select theaters, is France’s submission to the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language motion picture nomination. Set in Turkey, Mustang follows the misadventures of five teenage sisters.
Trouble begins when the girls are seen frolicking on the beach with some boys. While the play seems innocent enough, the incident causes a scandal in the neighborhood. Things go from bad to worse as the family elders take Draconian measures to keep the girls in line.
[The girls seek to escape their repressive household where they are expected to stay virginal and spend time preparing to be good wives. Traditions seen in this film mirror everyday reality for many in that region.]
In a strange way, Mustang made me think about two Clint Eastwood movies. In Unforgiven, a personal incident is mishandled and eventually explodes into a full scale civil war. In Mustang, the girls’ claustrophobic relationship echoes that in The Beguiled. Even though it is presented as tragedy, there are moments of joy in Mustang that recall the innocence of films from France’s legendary director, Francois Truffaut.