Grand Hall, ZAMEK Culture Centre
The 23rd International Documentary Film Festival OFF CINEMA opens HONEYLAND - the great winner of Sundance 2019, a true masterpiece of documentary cinema.
dir. Ljubomir Stefanov Tamara Kotevska, zdj. Fejmi Daut, Samir Ljuma, Macedonia Północna /2018, 87 min.
50-year-old Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in a desolate Macedonian village, with no roads,electricity or running water. She keeps bees, being
last of the line of independent bee-keepers who sell honey in small amounts, sharing the yield of their beloved charges. She does her bit of a trade in the nearest town, some four hours away on foot. Each day, she scales the hillside to tend to her hives. She loves bees, enchanting them with a song, and handling the combs ever so gently, having no need for overalls, netting or gloves. Her lifestyle is a traditional one, and very much attuned to nature. But when a family with their numerous children move in next door, her life is disrupted by the shrill yelling of the young ones, the din of the cows, and the roaring of engines. Her new neighbours keep bees as well, but their notions of what honey and bees are are altogether different. Tradition gives way to hard business and exploitation, as efficient as it gets. Hatidze feels that things one cannot change are to be accepted.
Still, the newcomers appear to be a serious threat to her life and her hives. The film shows the vanishing tradition of respect for bees, a treatment where they are considered partners as opposed to human slaves who produce honey. The beautifully shot story leaves one with the hope that the profitoriented attitude towards the noble insects and nature in general may change after all.
SELECTED FESTIVALS AND AWARDS:
2019 – FF SUNDANCE:
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary, World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award
for Impact for Change, World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography,
2019 – MFF Hong Kong
2019 – New Direction / New Films FF Nowy Jork
2019 – Grand Prix 16. Millenium Docs Against Gravity