Friday 16.8. at 7pm
2019 / North Macedonia
Length: 87 min
Director: Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska
Cinematography: Fejmi Daut, Samir Ljuma
Editing: Atanas Georgiev
Sound Designer: Rana Eid
Production: Atanas Georgiev, Ljubo Stefanov
Macedonian wild beekeeper Hatidze Muratova, the last of her kind, lives in an isolated region of the Balkan mountains with her ailing mother Nazife. Instead of a modern apiary, Hatidze’s bees nest on mountain slopes and the old stone walls of the deserted village. “Half for you, half for me,” she mutters while she pours honey on a rock in front of the beehive. The small quantities of honey she collects Hatidze sells in the nearest city a four-hour walk away.
When an itinerant family arrives in the area, the whistle of wind and the buzzing of bees aren’t the only sounds echoing in the mountains anymore: cattle bellowing, engines roaring and the hustle and bustle of children break the tranquility of the beekeeper’s peaceful existence. Hatidze welcomes the newcomers with open arms, but things start to go asunder after Hussein, the entrepreneurial patriarch of the family, takes an interest in the bees. With seven mouths to feed and an eye for profit, Hussein starts to sell his own honey and soon casts aside Hatidze’s advice, which causes a breach in the natural order and harmony of the local ecosystem.
In contrast to Hatidze’s gentle touch and ideals of reciprocity, Hussein’s modern methods of honey collection kill bees and usher in a sense of disparity between man and nature - one that feels all too familiar in our post-industrial Western society. Through a caring and intimate portrait of a woman and her bees, Honeyland urges us to consider fundamental questions on our relationship with our planet and what is at stake if we ignore our connection with it.
The film won a whopping three awards at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year: the Cinematography Award, the Grand Jury Prize and the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award.