7.2/10
5,988
22 user 74 critic

Bal (2010)

The quiet life of a boy and his family is endangered when his father does not return home from his work collecting honey in the forest.

Director:

Semih Kaplanoglu
11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bora Altas ... Yusuf
Erdal Besikçioglu ... Yakup
Tülin Özen ... Zehra
Ayse Altay Ayse Altay
Özkan Akcay Özkan Akcay
Alev Uçarer Alev Uçarer
Selami Gökce Selami Gökce
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

no music | forest | honey | boy | village | See All (86) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Turkey | Germany | France

Language:

Turkish

Release Date:

25 March 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bal (Honey) See more »

Filming Locations:

Rize, Turkey See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Turkey for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011. See more »

Quotes

Yakup: Dreams are not told aloud.
See more »

Connections

Follows Süt (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

An Exquisitely Visual Piece
20 July 2012 | by Errington_92See all my reviews

The slow pace of Bal works to great affect as it explores the tribulations of a young boy not only with the conventional use of a storyline narrative but also with a range of beautiful compositions which equals the sophisticated style of vivid portraits.

Yusuf is a young boy who is an outsider yet vastly intelligent. He is at odds with his school life never fitting in amongst his peers, constantly watching them from a distance along with struggling in parts of his studies. When Yusuf stutters through a reading in class minimal techniques are used, only the camera slowly tracking towards Yusuf and multiple POV shots of school peers focusing on Yusuf in awkward silence contain the scenes vibe yet it strikes such an impact emotionally feeling Yusuf's embarrassment. Whereas watching Yusuf with his Father in a simple static shot as they work and explore in the local woodlands shows his deep connection with nature by knowing the names and mannerisms of various plants, it is wonderful to witness the bond the pair have and to feel Yusuf's tranquillity. The techniques used to capture these moments are simple yet effective showing the brilliance of Bal.

Bal contains strong visual elements not only in the minimal techniques used to capture Yusuf's story but in the compositions which are styled with outstanding detail. Yusuf sat alone in a barn facing the camera in mostly dark lighting to inhabit his depressing mood before the head of his Father's donkey appears from behind Yusuf to provide comic relief convey his mood in the same manner a later dream sequence. After his Father goes missing Yusuf begins to have haunting dreams, one of which is himself stood alone in the forest with the visuals being one of a greyish palette before dead bees drop into his hand as a foreboding of his Father's death.

In a way it is hard to describe Bal as a film because its much more. Bal is a piece of visual art that transcends from its quiet storyline to present the atmosphere and emotions embedded in Yusuf's life as well as those around him with striking use of compositions and ingenuity. Bal is not a viewing experience for everyone, only those who appreciate the visual sophistication celluloid can offer will be moved by this film.


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