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Balik (2014)

A fisherman, his wife and young daughter who is unable to speak lives in a village on the shores of a lake. Their story starts with a myth of a fish, trying to find a cure for their daughter.



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Credited cast:
Miray Akay ... Deniz
Gizem Akman ... Gonca (Filiz's Sister)
Osman Alkas ... Hapishane Muduru
Zafer Altun ... Riza
Hazar Ergüçlü ... Pastanedeki Kiz
Nadi Güler ... Universite Hocasi
... Kaya
Emre Oskay ... Officer of Police
Bahattin Melik Sezgin ... Toptanci
Coskun Tamer ... Dumrul Amca
Adnan Tunali ... Birinci Doktor
Levent Uzunbilek ... Barajdaki Balik Ciftligi Sahibi
Sanem Çelik ... Filiz


A fisherman, his wife and young daughter who is unable to speak lives in a village on the shores of a lake. Their story starts with a myth of a fish, trying to find a cure for their daughter.

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17 October 2014 (Turkey)  »

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The movie was shot in Golyazi, Bursa. See more »

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User Reviews

A Film Combining Social Criticism with A Reflection on Human Life as a Whole
6 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

BALIK resembles many of Derviş Zaim's previous films in the way it combines social criticism with an ontological reflection on human beings' place in the world. The plot is a straightforward one - in a seaside village close to Bursa fisherman Kaya (Bülent İnal) finds a way to make money and increase his daily catch. By polluting the water in an out-of-the-way place through pouring oil into the sea, many dead fish come to the surface and he can subsequently take them to the fish market and get a good price for them. Unfortunately the scheme comes to grief, especially as far as his wife Filiz (Sanem Çelik) is concerned.

BALIK is a damning indictment of capitalism, symbolized in the film through regular shots of Kaya and his fellow-fishermen counting out banknotes as part of their regular wheeling and dealing. Although they end up prosperous, they do so at the expense of the natural environment. Zaim returns to his regular preoccupation with water as a symbol of life; it not only keeps human beings alive, but contains a great variety of alternative life-forms, fish, plankton and the like. By polluting the water Kaya is not only disrupting the balance of nature, he is killing off all these life-forms.

The story is set against the seasons; during spring and summer Kaya prospers; in winter he is shown at his lowest ebb. The sheer insignificance of the protagonists is suggested through regular shots of the sky, the sunset and sunrise: for all their attempts to make money, they are really not important in the general scheme of things. It is part of Kaya's tragedy that he fails to understand this basic fact.

BALIK asks us to reflect on what the essence of humanity represents; it is something far more than simple money-making, but rather comprises a respect for the order of the universe in which every living thing has its place. Kaya comes to realize this at the film's end, even though it takes a major tragedy in his life for him to come to that realization.

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