Zeynep is weighed down by her strict, traditional upbringing in Keskincik, a village in southern Turkey. She works at a textile factory, but dreams of going off to study. Her brothers Cemal and Mahmut are having a difficult time of it as well. Cemal, like Zeynep, is searching for freedom, while Mahmut is trapped in a loveless marriage with 17-year-old Nezahat. Their elder brother, filmmaker Ahmet Necdet Çupur, left their parental home 20 years ago. Following a message from Zeynep, he returns to the village.
Ahmet arrives to find a deeply unhappy family: his father berates his children on a regular basis, his mother has no idea how to deal with the tensions, and the children are caught between hope and fear. Les Enfants terribles is refreshingly open as it reveals a generational conflict exacerbated by political and cultural factors. Although Ahmet doesn’t directly engage in the conversations, the looks family members throw at the camera clearly reveal how involved he is. Ahmet also captures the beauty of rural Turkey in picturesque scenes reminiscent of the films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan.