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The young boy Yusuf's best friend is his father, who supports his family's modest life with the honey he collects from tall trees in the forests of the remote Turkish countryside. Yusuf is a quiet boy, and his mother is concerned for his future. Perhaps he will follow in his father's footsteps, or perhaps school will offer him other opportunities. But the honey crop is failing, and Yusuf has trouble learning how to read. The greatest fear strikes when Yusuf's father doesn't return home from the forest. Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
Bal is the Turkish word for honey, and that is part of the storyline. Yusuf, a six year old boy, wanders about, searching for both his father and the meaning of life, in no particular order.
His father suffers the trials of Job, his bees have vanished for no apparent reason and he has a family to feed. An accident leads to dads early demise, so most of the film is told from the perspective of Yusuf, who as played by Bora Atlas, is an absolute casting miracle. The kid is tremendous; he owns the screen.
There is very little dialogue, so the actors must use their faces to portray real human emotions. The scenery is beautiful and the sounds of nature fill the air. In the mood for a quiet, thoughtful movie with actual heart and soul, then Bal should be just right.
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