Parents' Guide to


By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Girls forced to marry in powerful Turkish drama; some sex.

Movie PG-13 2015 97 minutes
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Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2016, this movie artfully questions the subservient role women have been assigned in some religion-dominated cultures. In so doing director and cowriter Denize Gamze Erguven examines the seeds of domestic violence, too. In a country where the president announced in 2014 that women are not equal to men, women understand that if they deviate from social norms, they face terrible consequences. The ever-present threat of violence, of wondering how far conservative caretakers will go to keep rebellious girls down, creates a sense of impending doom through the movie that may disturb younger viewers.

Director Erguven deftly balances the beauty of the sisters' deep bond against the encroaching and systematic shutdown of their freedom and self-determination. She paints a world where girls' lives are not their own, where the promise of bright, independent women is restricted by threats of ostracism and worse. The casting of non-actors in the key roles of the sisters was astute. Rehearsals designed to teach acting skills also drew the five together into a believable family unit, "one character with five heads," as Erguven has called it. That gives Mustang a compelling, lived-in, nonfictional feel.

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