Nestled in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother 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 farming honey in small batches to be sold in the closest city – a mere 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 nowhere to graze his cattle, 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.

"Honeyland" is an emotional film that looks closely. It lets what is shown speak for itself and does not try to convince primarily through facts and figures. It manages to arouse the viewer's compassion and appreciation for others.

The film is very well made. Especially the camera work and the film music stand out, but also the pictures are always appropriate, aesthetically appealing and often unique.

Director(s): Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska
Production: Ljubo Stefanov, Atanas Georgiev, Marjana Shushlevska, Kornelija Ristovska
Music: Foltin
Actors: Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova, Hussein Sam, Ljutvie Sam, Mustafa Sam, Muzafer Sam, Veli Sam, Ali Sam, Alit Sam, Gamze Sam, Ljutvish Sam, Safet Javorovac
Year: 2019
Duration: 85 min
Our age recommendation: 12
Language (audio): Turkish
Language (subtitles): English
Country of origin: Macedonia
Shooting Locations: Macedonia
Screening rights: Deckert Distribution () | Filme für die Erde (Switzerland, Liechtenstein) | Neue Visionen (Germany, Austria)
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Further reviews


Main topic(s): Human Potential
Secondary topics: bees money sufficiency wildlife
Mentions: wild bees honey respect nature farming natural balance off the grid poverty human decency
Topic Page(s): Human Potential The nominated films of past Films for the Earth Festivals. Donated Films


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