In northern Turkey, four sisters opt to play on the beach, and some boys are present. Their innocent activity turns into a town scandal, with the girls being imprisoned in their own home and, one-by-one, shipped out in arranged marriages.
Denis Gamze Erguven directs this Oscar nominated film with strong performances from the young actresses, based on a screenplay she co-wrote with Alice Wincour. The most memorable of the performances comes from Ilayda Akdogan as the youngest sister, a girl who watches her family get torn apart by strange traditions and incest. There’s a liberating spirit to character that makes this film more about hope than it could’ve been. The adult portrayals aren’t as strong as the young women’s, but that’s okay.
Truth is, it’s there story that really matters, and Erguven tells it fearlessly. It’s a little dispiriting to see what these young women go through, but Erguven’s movie is an optimistic one, and the performers make it engaging.