This documentary that scored an extraordinary 99% on Rotten Tomatoes focuses on an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, where 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 offers 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. This provokes a conflict with Hatidze that exposes the fundamental tension between nature and humanity, harmony and discord, exploitation and sustainability. Hatidze’s very means of survival are threatened.
“…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
“As an intervention in the conversation around climate change and natural disaster, Honeyland performs the unique feat of uniting agriculture with human culture, to prove that it is really all just culture.” — Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic
Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova, Hussein Sam, Ljutvie Sam
Republic of Macedonia