16-02-2010

FNE at Berlinale 2010: Competition Honey (Bal)

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BERLIN: The third film in Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu's poetic trilogy ,Honey is a quiet, beautiful film about the relationship between man and nature. Set in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey, an area of untouched nature where man lives in harmony with his surroundings the film shows us poetic scenes of everyday life.

The story is about six-year-old Yusuf and his relationship with his father, Yakup, who is a beekeeper in a huge mountain forest. Yusuf accompanies his father into the forest where he hangs his bee hives in the treetops and the forest is a place of great mystery to the young boy.

When the bees that the family depends upon for their livelihood suddenly disappear the father sets off for the mountains and does not return. Yusuf and his mother begin a search for the father that becomes a journey into the unknown.

In an age of artificiality and special effects Kaplanoglu uses natural lights and the sounds of nature to portray and feeling of time and deep spirituality. The director has said he was influenced by painting in all three of the films of his trilogy, Egg, Milk and now Honey. For Honey his muse was Vermeer who he said was an inspiration for his understanding of light and use of space. Kaplanoglu says the film is partly autobiographical and that he has drawn on his own experiences for the characters and the feelings. Like his previous films the film uses a poetic cinematographic language. There is very little dialogue.

Kaplanoglu speaking at the press conference said: "I wanted to portray a lost paradise that is deep within all of us. Humankind is losing its moral and spiritual outlook at exactly the same rate that we are losing our relationship with nature."

Directed by Semih Kaplanoglu

Cast: Bora Altas, Erdal Besikcioglu, Tülin Özen, Alev Ucarer, Ayse Altay

Coproduction: Turkey / Germany

Worldsales: The Match Factory GmbH