I'm Lee Hutchison and you'll know me from droning on every few weeks on The Filibuster podcast, welcome to a new feature that I'm calling 'Lee's Franchise Fatigue'.
Each Friday I am going to recommend a movie that's not getting the attention the big blockbuster and franchise movies are getting for you to check out. Some weeks it'll be a movie release or maybe one you can stream at home on Netflix or Apple TV.
This week I'm going to recommend the Turkish coming of age drama,'Mustang'. 'Mustang' follows 5 young Turkish girls who mingle with the opposite sex and are very liberal in their approach to their clothing, attitude and bodies. The girls lost their parents years ago and now live with their grandmother and conservative uncle. When their behaviour goes too far for their uncle, he takes the girls out of school, confines them to the house and begins to get them ready to be married off to potential strangers.
This is one of the best films I've seen this year and is from debut filmmaker, Deniz Gamze Ergüven and with a cast of young unknown Turkish actresses, the cast are lighting in a bottle. Despite being set in the Turkish countryside, the themes of female oppression at the hands of male, community and religious tradition is incredibly universal and something many woman and men will find relatable.
The film moves from the hope and excitement of summer to despair and darkness as the incredible bond the sisters share is being split apart by their Uncle and the traditions the local community share towards marriage. However, even in the tragedy there is youthful hope and this movie can be an inspiration for many who find themselves oppressed and having their lives torn apart in the name of religion and and the traditions of others.
People always talk about how Hollywood blockbusters don't give enough roles to women and foreign talent, behind and in front of the camera, 'Mustang' is one of many movies out there in European cinema and beyond that are empowering talent in these areas. These movies are out there for those seeking to see female voices used and heard.
Where to watch?
On a limited run in selected cinemas in the United Kingdom
Available to stream on Apple TV in the United States and several European regions.