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 shattered by the arrival of an itinerant family, with their roaring engines, seven rambunctious children and herd of cattle. It doesn’t take long however, before Hussein, the itinerant family’s patriarch, begins to sell his own honey. This 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.
“Stefanov and Kotevska have done more than record the rhythms and textures of rural life. They have shaped their observations… into a luminous neorealist fable, a sad and stirring tale of struggle, persistence and change.” — A.O. Scott, New York Times
“This elegant film… begins as the intimate portrait of a beekeeper who makes famously good honey, and then expands to become something of a parable.” — John Powers, NPR
“Honeyland swarms with difficult, ancient truths about parents, children, greed, respect, and the need for husbandry.” — Anthony Lane, New Yorker
Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova, Hussein Sam, Ljutvie Sam
Turkish, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian
Republic of Macedonia