A female architect who wants to preserve her utopias realizes the only probable way to experience this in today's Istanbul is through dreams and parallel lives. Indeed, her dreams help her to continue, build new hopes and lives.
At the end of every summer, 'Hasanpasa' village holds a shepherding contest. The traditional contest requires shepherds to herd their sheep one by one through a pool of water. The shepherd ... See full summary »
A chief police inspector's first hand witness testimony impeaches someone of an intelligent service crime. Some hitman who is officially dead, but concealed by an intelligence agency, has been involved in a political treason plot.
Eflatun is a master miniature artist who's living in 17th century Istanbul. One day, he's taken to the vizier's mansion by force. There he learns that Danyal, one of the Ottoman princes who... See full summary »
Mahsun is homeless and unemployed. He lives in Rumelihisari (one of the most picturesque and oldest quarters of Istanbul), and tries to stay alive with the help of local fishermen. Mahsun ... See full summary »
Zeki Demirkubuz plays the lead character Ahmet who wants to make a film about Dostoyevsky's 'Crime and Punishment'. He falls into a deep depression, loses interest in the film and life, ... See full summary »
Musa, who works as a bookkeeper in the customs office, believes in the emptiness and absurdity of life. He doesn't struggle to change his life; he lets himself flow along with events ... See full summary »
A Film Combining Social Criticism with A Reflection on Human Life as a Whole
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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