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Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska · Macedonia · 2019 · 86 mins · PG · Turkish with subtitles
Awards IMDb8698%

An exquisitely photographed documentary. Shot over three years, this elegant film — which nabbed several top prizes at Sundance — begins as the intimate portrait of a beekeeper who makes famously good honey, and then expands to become something of a parable. The heroine is 50-something Hatidze Muratova, who lives in a tiny hut in a ruggedly mountainous area of Macedonia, 20 miles from the nearest town and seemingly hundreds of years from modernity. Hatidze spends her life looking after her argumentative mother, and keeping bees as her family has done for generations. She works with hives high up on precarious mountain ledges and in trees hanging over the river. Her basic rule is simple: When you harvest honey, you only take half — and leave the other half for the bees.

That's why Honeyland speaks so well to our moment. Right now, the world's bees are being killed off in droves in a mysterious mass carnage known as colony collapse disorder. At the same time, huge parts of the planet are menaced by climate change. And most of the world, not least its leaders, can't be bothered to appreciate what Hatidze knows in her bones — that the ecosystems which sustain us are interconnected and surprisingly frail.

What makes her such a wonderful character isn't simply the decency and warmth revealed by her extraordinary snaggle-toothed smile. It's that Hatidze embodies a sane, respectful and engaged way of living with nature. She knows that if you want honey, you must find a way of living in harmony with the bees that create it. If you don't, you will be very badly stung.  --NPR 

 “Both an immersive experience and an undeniably gorgeous reflection on our relationship to nature.”

 “This amazing doc, a multiple prize-winner at Sundance 2019, makes for the most primal of environmental allegories.” 

--Toronto Star

 “This is a tender story about the chaos of abandoning the common good.” --indieWire

“An unforgettable vérité character study” --Variety

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