Film

Honeyland

Director
Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Certificate
12A
Running Time
87 mins

Fiftysomething Hatidze Muratovai comes from a long line of Macedonian wild beekeepers and is now the last of her kind in Europe. She resides with her ailing mother in a village without roads, electricity or running water in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, eking out a living farming honey in small batches to be sold in the closest city – a mere four hours’ walk away. Then an itinerant family pitch up, shattering her peaceful existence with roaring engines, seven shrieking children, and 150 cows. Nonetheless, she gives them a warm welcome. But the patriarch senses an opportunity and decides to sell his own honey – ignoring Hatidze’s advice and threatening to destroy her way of life.

Beautifully filmed over a period of three years, the award-winning Honeyland is a geuninely heartbreaking parable about greed and sustainability, though some critics have questioned the neatness of the narrative and the nature of the relationship between the filmmakers and their subject.

By robin askew, Monday, Sep 2 2019

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