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thumbnail Honeyland (2019 Macedonia)

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Directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova, Hussein Sam
85 mins

This astonishing, immersive environmental documentary began life as a nature conservation video about one of Europe’s last wild-beekeepers. The scene is an abandoned village in North Macedonia where Hatidze, a woman in her mid-50s, harvests honey sustainably the traditional way from wild hives. “Half for them, half for me,” she chants, leaving enough for the bees. Serendipitously for directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov (though not for Hatidze), the family from hell moves in next door mid-shoot, and this small-scale film takes on epic proportions, transforming into a parable about exploiting natural resources, or perhaps a microcosm of humans’ suicidal destruction of the environment. Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2019.

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