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Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Harrowing Religious-Repression Drama ‘Mustang’ Gets US Distribution Deal

Deniz Gamze Ergüven's Harrowing Religious-Repression Drama 'Mustang' Gets US Distribution Deal

The Turkish drama “Mustang,” which debuted to ecstatic reviews at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, has been acquired by the Cohen Media Group. 

The Directors’ Fortnight selection focuses on a quintet of orphaned sisters in a remote Turkish village whose lives are catastrophically transformed by their religious and repressive grandmother. Written and directed by Turkish-French filmmaker Deniz Gamze Ergüven, the directorial debut has been compared to Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides.”

CMG plans a release for “Mustang” early next year. 

CMG President Daniel Battsek said, “Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s incredibly confident directorial debut takes a serious subject and handles it with such a sure yet light touch that one can’t help being emotionally connected to the young women she portrays with great compassion.”

Here’s the PR description of the film: 

“‘Mustang,’ which has received glowing early reviews, is set in a Black Sea coastal village in modern-day Turkey, where five orphaned sisters live with their grandmother, an aunt and an abusive uncle. It’s the last day of school and the girls celebrate their summer freedom by innocently frolicking in the surf with some boys. But their supposedly lewd behavior is witnessed by a stern neighbor, who tells the girls’ grandmother that they are behaving inappropriately. 
“Fearful that the girls’ marriage prospects have been harmed, their grandmother holds them as virtual prisoners in their home. She takes away their phones, makes them wear drab clothes, trains them in household chores and brings in a parade of potential husbands. It’s the youngest sister, 13-year-old Lale (Gunes Nezihe Sensoy), who engineers the girls’ escape — which turns out to be just a brief respite from their increasingly oppressive new existence.”

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