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Balalayka (2000)

On a misty morning, an old bus leaves Batum to go to Istanbul. As the bus stops at various places on the way, Russian women of all ages and professions, each with a unique tale, board. In ... See full summary »


Ali Özgentürk
2 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ugur Yücel Ugur Yücel ... Necati
Cem Davran Cem Davran ... Hasan
Yekaterina Rednikova ... Tanya
Ercan Yazgan Ercan Yazgan
Ozan Güven ... Mehmet (as Ozan Guven)
Atýlay Uluýsýk Atýlay Uluýsýk
Necdet Yakin Necdet Yakin
Iskender Bagcilar Iskender Bagcilar ... (as Ýskender Baðcýlar)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Burak Altay Burak Altay
Ata Benli Ata Benli ... Küçük Cevdet
Nadezhda Gorelova Nadezhda Gorelova


On a misty morning, an old bus leaves Batum to go to Istanbul. As the bus stops at various places on the way, Russian women of all ages and professions, each with a unique tale, board. In this bus full of women, there are three Turkish men. Three brothers who have come together after many years to carry their father's last wish... The eldest, Necati Bey (Ugur Yucel) views life through his father's eyes, Hasan (Cem Davran) is a sailor, the conqueror of open seas and women's hearts. The youngest, Mehmet (Ozan Guven) grew up with their mother in Germany and has much to learn about his brothers, life, and love. All these different characters and their outlooks on life intertwine. Passions flare and preconceptions are shattered as the disparate collection of passengers embark, at the same time, on a personal journey of discovery. A chain of irreversible events lead to heartbreak, tragedy, and enlightenment. It is a journey on a bus full of joy, sadness, love, and life itself. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their characters, dreams, and passions were different. But they all are on the same journey.









Release Date:

29 December 2000 (Turkey) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Asya Film, TMC Film See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Kemal Sunal was to play Necati but following his sudden death prior to the shooting, Ugur Yücel was brought in to play that character. See more »

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User Reviews

Better than "The Horse"-now my favorite Ozgenturk film
3 November 2003 | by turkamSee all my reviews

I really enjoyed this movie. The fact that it has a 6.7 on the IMDB does not surprise me. It is what I call a film with many flaws that ultimately manages to make such an impression that one can't help but feel compelled to praise the film enthuiastically even though one might sympathize with its' detractors. I call it "The Last Tango in Paris" effect. Much like that film's director Bernardo Bertolucci, Ali Ozgenturk is a realist director whose films often feel like documentaries. He gained notoriety with "At- The Horse" almost two decades ago. Other than "Bekci-The Watchman" few of his films have reminded viewers of his initial artistic success. "Balalayka" is that reminder though. It is a story which is at the very heart of today's Turkey, a country and culture which has always been affected by the geopolitical changes around its' borders. The fall of the Soviet Union and the impending economic struggles of the Russian people has actually lead to many Russian immigrating to Turkey- a country where more people tend to leave the country, as my father did, for work outside. And, alas many Russian women have fallen into prostitution rings which manipulate their need for economic gain. The film also shows the role of family in Turkish life, and how that infastructure, so absent in the West especially in America, has allowed for people to go on with their lives in spite of adversity and tragedy. Kemal Sunal, the great Turkish comic actor who died suddenly as he was set to go to Trabzon- the Black Sea region- to star in this movie is a figure who will be a hero of Turkish cinema for many years to come. It is hard to say that anyone can replace him, but in this film Ugur Yucel does a tremendous job in his place and in the process he manages to equal Sunal's last film appearance in the great Turkish comedy "Propaganda." I hope with the arrival of "Uzak-Distance" in U.S. theaters next year, there will be a renewed interest in Turkish cinema. It could allow more people to view films like "Balayka" and applaud them for the fact that their artisitc merit empahtically surpasses whatever technical deficiencies one may see in such films.

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