Gorgeous documentary on the nature of all things beautiful from directors Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska.
The films focus is Hatidze Muratova, the last in a long line of Macedonian nomadic beekeepers, living isolated in the mountainous region deep within the Balkans. Tending to her hives with near monastic devotion, Hatidze makes a meagre living farming small batches of their honey to be sold in the marketplaces of nearby villages.
They spent three years filming, and their time and patience gives us a deep, affectionate appreciation for Hatidze and her bees. She is calm, protective and respecting of her charges, taking only half of the honey she harvests, leaving the rest for the bees themselves.
When a nomadic Turkish family move onto the plot of land near Hatidze we see a threat emerge to the delicate balance of her solitary existence. As family’s patriarch, Hussein, begins to see an opportunity to take up beekeeping himself, his efforts threaten to encroach on her already tiny livelihood. It offers an intimate portrait of a life lived in harmony within a natural world. (Research Chris Coetsee) Honeyland took home sweet Grand Jury prizes at this year's Sundance FF, hope Hatidze got hers…? Come and see.