Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Honey, which deservedly won the Golden Bear at Berlin last year, marks the third part of writer/director Seih Kaplanoglu's trilogy tracking a poet named Yusuf back through his life. Egg (2007), examined his adult years, while Milk (2008) charted his coming-of-age and now Honey looks at his childhood.

I have to admit at this point that I have not seen either of the first two parts of the trilogy, having been put off Kaplanoglu's over-stylised direction in Angel's Fall - but it was no bar to enjoying this intimate and beautiful third instalment, which is well worth seeing in its own right.

Copy picture

Driven more by the emotional arc of its central character than straight forward narrative, we meet Yusuf (Boras Atlas, who is quite simply adorable) when he is seven years old. Thanks to a stutter, he's a quiet kid, who barely speaks outside of his home and, within it, communicates chiefly through whispers to the other members of his family. The film reveals what happens to him when his bee-keeper dad - with whom he shares a tight bond - goes off alone into the forest to try to find out what is making his hives die.

This is a quiet and intimate film, filled with gorgeous natural images and soundscapes that speak volumes - from the jingle of the bells Yusuf wears (presumably so his family can hear where he is), to the sights and sounds of the forest. Cinematographer Baris Ozbicer recalls Vermeer with his rich colour palette perfectly matching the rustic setting, emphasised by Kaplangoglu's slow pacing that initially renders many scenes like intricate works of still life. Not one for those who like their stories to crack along, but as an emotionally resonant portrait of a little boy, it has a quiet and insistent charm.

Reviewed on: 15 Jul 2011
Share this with others on...
Examination of the bond between a little boy, the forest and his beekeeper dad.
Amazon link

Director: Semih Kaplanoglu

Writer: Semih Kaplanoglu, Orçun Köksal

Starring: Erdal Besikçioglu, Tülin Özen, Alev Uçarer, Bora Altas

Year: 2010

Runtime: 103 minutes

Country: Turkey, Germany

Search database: