Five young sisters in a small Turkish community are innocently playing with a group of young boys when a concerned neighbour reports their behaviour to their ultra-protective Uncle Erol. As he now looks after the girls – their parents have died years previously – he decides that their behaviour is immoral and they must be denied freedom in case they fall into ‘sexual deviancy'. Thus he locks them away and tries to force them into arranged marriages. Soon the girls begin to fight back against their Uncle's oppression and he takes ever more forceful measures to ensure that the girls under his care will remain ‘pure'. This starts off as an almost whimsical affair but as the story moves on – and Uncle Erol's actions become even more unreasonable – it becomes much more powerful and emotional. Director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, making his feature film debut, really makes us feel the pressure of the girls' subjugation and elicits anger at those who would feel that it is their right to tell women how to behave.

Comparisons to films such as "Dogtooth" and "The Virgin Suicides" have been made by various commentators and – while the spirit of these films does exist in "Mustang" – Deniz Gamze Ergüven has crafted a simple yet clever examination of female empowerment that is uniquely affecting.

Laurence Boyce / PÖFF

France / Germany / Turkey / Qatar 2015