Nestled in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother are the only people left in a village without roads, electricity or running water. She’s the last in a long line of Macedonian wild beekeepers, eking out a living by farming honey in small batches to be sold in the closest city—only 20km but four hours’ walk away.
Hatidze’s peaceful existence is thrown into upheaval by the arrival of an itinerant family, with their roaring engines, seven rambunctious children and herd of cattle. Hatidze optimistically meets the promise of change with an open heart, offering up her affections, her brandy, and her tried-and-true beekeeping advice. It doesn’t take long however, before Hussein, the itinerant family’s patriarch, senses opportunity and develops an interest in selling his own honey. Hussein has seven young mouths to feed and he soon casts Hatidze’s advice aside in his hunt for profit. This causes a breach in the natural order that provokes a conflict with Hatidze that exposes the fundamental tension between nature and humanity, harmony and discord, exploitation and sustainability. Even as the family provides a much-needed respite from Hatidze’s isolation and loneliness, her very means of survival are threatened.
This lyrical documentary has won numerous awards and accolades over the past few months. The filmmakers originally set out to make a short film about conservation efforts in Macedonia but ended up staying for three years and followed events, such as the arrival of Hussein and his family, as they unfolded. The result is a delicate examination of the tension between living a sustainable life that respects and protects the land, and short-term commercial objectives.
Friday, May 22nd 2020 POSTPONED
Doors open at 7pm
Film starts at 7.30pm
Upstairs@The Town Hall,
Llangollen Town Hall,
Castle Street, Llangollen
Directors: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska
Year: 2019 (Macedonian)
Running time: 1 hour 25 minutes
And the critics say…
“What begins as a quaint, vérité portrait evolves into something far greater: a monument to the human spirit.” Marlow Stone, The Daily Beast
“What is on screen is a poetic microcosm of what happens when self-serving enterprises become the norm while those who care are pushed aside.” Susan Wloszczyna, Alliance of Women Film Journalists
“Honeyland really is a miraculous feat, shot over three years as if by invisible camera – not a single furtive glance is directed towards the film-makers. As for Hatidze, you could watch her for hours.” Cath Clarke, The Guardian
“This lovely, heartrending movie leaves you marveling at her history and thinking anxiously for her future – and wondering, perhaps, why her example of basic decency has become so endangered. ” Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times