In a deserted Macedonian village, Hatidze, a fiftysomething woman in a bright yellow blouse and green headscarf, trudges up a hillside to check her bee colonies nestled in the rocks. Serenading them with a secret chant, she gently maneuvers the honeycomb without netting or gloves. Back at her homestead, Hatidze tends to her handmade hives and her bedridden mother, occasionally heading to the capital to market her wares. One day, an itinerant family installs itself next door, and Hatidze’s peaceful kingdom gives way to roaring engines, seven shrieking children, and 150 cows. Yet Hatidze welcomes the camaraderie, and she holds nothing back—not her tried-and-true beekeeping advice, not her affection, not her special brandy. But soon Hussein, the itinerant family’s patriarch, makes a series of decisions that could destroy Hatidze’s way of life forever.
Every frame of Honeyland pulses with the cycles of life and glows with Hatidze’s magical vitality and optimism. This visually sumptuous, vérité glimpse into a forgotten world is an ode to two endangered and priceless treasures: human decency and the delicate balance of nature.Critic reviewsThe film by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov is a strange and curious thing: part fly-on-the-wall anthropology, part ecological fable.Full review
Washington PostStunningly beautiful and quietly powerful, this is a portrait of a vanishing way of life and of a determined woman who’s just trying to make her way in the world.Full review
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.