Dir. Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
2019 | 87 mins | Republic of Macedonia
Turkish with Engish subtitles
- Sun 29 Sep: 4pm
- Tue 1 Oct: 7.30pm
- Wed 2 Oct: 7.30pm
In a deserted Macedonian village, Hatidze, a 50-something woman, trudges up a hillside to check her bee colonies nestled in the rocks. Serenading them with a secret chant, she gently manoeuvres the honeycomb without netting or gloves. Back at her homestead, Hatidze tends to her handmade hives and her bedridden mother, occasionally heading to the capital to market her wares.
One day, an itinerant family installs itself next door, and Hatidze’s peaceful kingdom gives way to roaring engines, seven shrieking children, and 150 cows. Yet Hatidze welcomes the camaraderie, and she holds nothing back—not her tried-and-true beekeeping advice, not her affection, not her special brandy. But soon Hussein, the itinerant family’s patriarch, makes a series of decisions that could destroy Hatidze’s way of life forever.
The debut feature from documentarians Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska Honeyland was shot over three years by a skeleton crew committed to an intimate collaboration between filmmakers and subject.
Honeyland is made with the widescreen sweep of an epic, visually ambitious and driven by an unexpectedly dramatic narrative and a surprising sense of humour. It’s a tough and tender portrait of the delicate balance between humankind and nature, a glimpse at a fast disappearing way of life, and an unforgettable testament to one extraordinary woman’s resilience.