Directed by Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska, documentary, 85 min, eng subtitles, 16+
Written by Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska
Hatidze Muratova is a middle-aged woman living a quiet and modest life high up in the Macedonian mountains, with her ailing mother, in a deserted village without roads, electricity or running water. She earns her living by harvesting honey using ancient beekeeping traditions and occasionally selling it in the nearest town. “Take half, leave half” - that is the beekeeper’s golden rule. In an intricate balance with nature, Hatidze peacefully co-exists with her surroundings, always taking only what she needs and never an ounce more. When a nomadic family moves in and breaks Honeyland’s basic rule, the last female wild beekeeper in Europe must save the bees and restore the natural balance.
The most highly awarded film at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival (receiving the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary and the Special Jury Awards for Cinematography and Impact for Change), this is a cautionary tale about man’s greed and the fragile balance that exists between humanity and nature. With the mesmerizing cinematography of Daut and Ljuma, the organic unfolding of the story and the endless patience of documentary-makers Kotevska and Stefanov who shot the film over three years in an intimate collaboration between filmmakers and subject, the documentary is a real gem of cinéma vérité about a world that we can hardly believe still exists.
Sundance IFF 2019 (World Cinema Documentary Competition - Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Impact and Change, World Cinema Documentary Competition Cinematography Award)