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97 minutes · 2015

In this Turkish drama, director Deniz Gamze Ergüven shows, with varying degrees of subtlety, how fear, especially when it's a product of misogyny or xenophobia, can corrode an insular society. Five orphaned sisters revel in nature and their youthful energy until an innocent romp on the beach scandalizes a provincial village neighbor. The girls' alarmed grandmother and violent uncle quickly hide them from sight and turn the family home into a gated fortress where they prepare the sisters for the domestic drudgery of arranged marriages; faraway Istanbul becomes the beacon of freedom for the youngest child (Günes Sensoy). Ergüven and cowriter Alice Winocour have a keen understanding of teenage impetuosity and adult cruelty, visually and aurally assisted by David Chizallet's fluid rack-focus cinematography and Warren Ellis’s sensuous score. In Turkish with subtitles.

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