A multiple prize-winner at Sundance 2019, Honeyland follows a wild beekeeper in an isolated mountain region deep in the Balkans, offering a glimpse at a disappearing way of life and a testament to one woman’s resilience.
Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in a village without roads, electricity, or running water. The last in a long line of Macedonian wild beekeepers, she ekes out a living farming honey in small batches to be sold in the closest city. Hatidze’s peaceful existence is thrown into upheaval by the arrival of an itinerant family, with their roaring engines, seven rambunctious children and herd of cattle. At first, she meets the promise of change with an open heart, offering up her affections, her brandy and her tried-and-true beekeeping advice. But it doesn’t take long before Hussein, the family’s patriarch, senses opportunity and develops an interest in selling his own honey. This causes a breach in the order of Hatidze’s world — one that exposes fundamental tensions between nature and humanity, harmony and discord, exploitation and sustainability. Shot over three years by a skeleton crew committed to an intimate collaboration between filmmakers and subject, Honeyland is made with the widescreen sweep of an epic, visually ambitious and driven by an unexpectedly dramatic narrative and a surprising sense of humor.
(Republic of Macedonia / 2019 / Directed by Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov)
Unrated / 1 hr 27 mins.