Synopsis by Mark Deming
A child turns inward as he deals with personal and familial crises in this drama. Yusuf (Bora Altas) is a six-year-old boy who has just begun attending school in a small Turkish village. Yusuf is self-conscious around his classmates because he stutters, and some of the students make fun of him when he has trouble reading in class. Yusuf prefers to spend time with his father, Yakup (Erdal Besikçioglu), a beekeeper who sometimes brings the boy along when he tends his hives in the woods. A wave of bad luck hits the household as Yusuf is traumatized at school and Yakup's bees suddenly disappear. Yakup sets out to find his colonies, and with his father gone, Yusuf grows more withdrawn and stops speaking altogether. His mother, Zehra (Tülin Özen), must now support the family by working at a tea plantation, at the same time trying to help her son regain the desire to speak and hoping for the safe return of her husband. Bal (aka Honey) was the third film in a trilogy by Semih Kaplanoglu about families in Northeast Turkey, preceded by Yumurta (aka Egg, 2007) and Süt (aka Milk, 2008).
beekeeping, boy, father, mute, son, Turkey