Rated Parental Guidance (Coarse Language) ~ Runs 87 minutes
Dir.: Tamara Kotevska/Ljubomir Stefanov, Republic of Macedonia, 2019
Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova
In Turkish with English subtitles
Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film. Winner of The Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Festival.
“Few movies capture the great wheel of nature turning with as much beauty and empathy as Honeyland, and fewer still show how easily the wheel can slip its track and come crashing to pieces. Honeyland introduces us to Hatidze Muratova, a great character and a natural-born movie star. She lives in the ruins of a farming village...a 50-something woman with terrible teeth and an unquenchable spirit. In the film’s opening sequence, Muratova climbs up into the mountains surrounding her home and pulls away a piece of rocky ledge to reveal a honeybee colony fizzing away beneath... Muratova tends to several of these natural colonies as well as a number of homemade hives; she harvests the honey and takes the long bus ride into Skopje to sell it at open-air markets... When taking the honeycombs, she always makes sure to leave half in the hives, to keep the colony flourishing. Back at Hatidze’s hut, her only companions are a rangy dog and her 84-year-old mother, Nazife, bedridden and nearly blind. They all seem to have been there for centuries. Certainly this way of life has... One day a family arrives in the valley: father Hussein Sam, his wife, Ljutvie, seven fractious kids, a herd of cattle, and several vehicles and trailers in various states of disrepair. A long shot of Muratova peering over a wall at the interlopers tells you everything you need to know about her wariness, but she befriends the children and then, slowly, the parents. And then Hussein decides to get in on the honeybee business himself. What happens next feels like a push-pull as old as time - between man and nature, men and women, living off the land versus living with it - yet it’s absolutely relevant to where we find ourselves now, in a time of worldwide honeybee colony collapse disorder... Grave and wise, Honeyland is ultimately an act of faith, and the filmmakers extend the idea of balance all the way to the film’s implicit moral. And Hatidze herself is a figure for the ages, drawing the honey from life while working to ensure it’s there for the generations to come. The hive she tends is bigger than she knows.” - Ty Burr, The Boston Globe