Honeyland

  • 12A

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Infrequent strong languageNestled 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. Shes 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.Hatidzes 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 doesnt take long however, before Hussein, the itinerant familys 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 Hatidzes 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 Hatidzes isolation and loneliness, her very means of survival are threatened.The opening frames of Honeyland are so rustically sumptuous that you wonder, for a second, if theyve somehow been art-directed. VarietyIts a quiet and passive film thats content to luxuriate in place and revel in solitude, which, in turn, both drags the narratives loose pacing and instills a certain natural structure that, once embraced, becomes almost mesmerizing. The PlaylistThe opening minutes of Honeyland are as astonishing - as sublime and strange and full of human and natural beauty - as anything Ive ever seen in a movie. The New York timesHoneyland swarms with difficult, ancient truths about parents, children, greed, respect, and the need for husbandry. The NewYorker

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