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.