Film Archive

Sections (Film Archive)

Late Harvest
Honeyland Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

A bee whisperer in the Macedonian mountain idyll, from whose strenuous everyday life she sometimes flees. A condensed, intense drama that is much more than just a portrait.

Honeyland

Documentary Film
North Macedonia
2019
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Atanas Georgiev
Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Foltin
Fejmi Daut, Samir Ljuma
Atanas Georgiev
Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Rana Eid
Hatidze is not alone. She has her bees. And she nurses her sick, bedridden mother. Every now and then she packs her jars of honey and homemade baskets and goes to the market in the capital, where she flirts with the sellers, treats herself to a hair dye and enjoys escaping the loneliness of her Macedonian mountain idyll for a moment: being, for a short while, nothing but a single woman around fifty, free from all her routine burdens and ready to enjoy life. In her remote, barren mountain village she hardly has time for this, because there she is devotedly breeding bee colonies in crevices. As a bee whisperer, she sings old folksongs to her charges, needs no head or hand protection and takes only the honey she is entitled to, leaving the rest to the bees. They are her family. But when a nomad clan with seven kids and 150 cows suddenly settles on the neighbouring property, her lonely idyll is in danger of being shattered.

The two directors Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska have condensed roughly 400 hours of film material in a poetic, intense drama that is much more than just the portrait of a beekeeper. Between observation and metaphor, they follow Hatidze through ups and downs. In her world it’s the bees that decide who will be allowed to stay in the end.

Julia Weigl

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