Honeyland

How one woman guards a fragile balance

Hatidze Muratova

How one woman guards a fragile balance

Hatidze Muratova

For three years, a small crew followed Europe’s last female wild-beekeeper, Hatidze Muratova. She’s as pure as the honey she gathers from her wild hives, and her surroundings are as bountiful as they are rugged. In a deserted mountain village, with neither electricity nor running water, she looks after her bedridden mother. In this extraordinary setting, Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov produced a stunningly filmed, intimate portrait, in which the protagonists often seem to behave as if they’re unobserved.

A dramatic turn of events comes with the arrival of a couple with a caravan full of children. From a hilltop, Hatidze watches as herds of cows overrun the village. The rough treatment of the children and animals contrasts starkly with Hatidze’s tender relationship with the bees. When the father hears how much she earns with her honey, he starts to show an interest in beekeeping. Will he understand her most important rule, that you must never take more honey than the bees can miss?

Honeyland

Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in the mountains of Macedonia, making a living cultivating honey using ancient beekeeping traditions. When an unruly family moves in next door, what at first seems like a balm for her solitude becomes a source of tension as they, too, want to practice beekeeping, while disregarding her advice. The most awarded film out of this year's Sundance Film Festival, winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, a Special Jury Award for Cinematography, and another Special Jury Award for Originality. HONEYLAND is an epic, visually stunning portrait of the delicate balance between nature and humanity that has something sweet for everyone.

Tanja Abbas

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