'Mustang' Finds the Fairy Tale Within a Harsh Reality

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Deniz Gamze Erguven's feature film Mustang tells the story of five Turkish sisters whose lives are turned upside down when an innocent game is misinterpreted as something more sinister. The film touches deeply on subjects of oppression by a conservative society, especially when it comes to women.

"I felt the need to move away from true stories and from the naturalism that is so dominant in today’s cinema, because this is after all a very dark subject matter. So I felt like I needed to bring in some kind of light. But of course the girls’ situation is so real that I didn’t want to imprison the characters in that reality. ," explains Erguven about the films fairy tale-like quality. "The wish to adopt a fable-like style became all the more apparent when we got together with the actresses. I wanted to portray these girls like a five-headed monster. They were like supernatural, otherworldly creatures for me with their long hair, which was reminiscent of a horse’s mane."

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