By Gregory Crofton
Expected a cinematic take on a beekeeper’s life, but found an even richer story on honey gathering, the challenge of bad neighbors and the difficulty of living sustainably in a capitalistic world.
All told the filmmaking team shot 400 hours of footage, most of it focused on Hatidže Muratova, a charismatic beekeeper who lived to harvest honeycombs while feeding and caring for her blind, paralyzed 85-year-old mother.
Really it’s the patience and care of co-directors Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska that deliver gorgeous observational images for the the big screen. Their small crew camped out on Muratova’s remote farm for days at the time, long enough to drain the charged batteries of their camera equipment, since it has no electric power.
“Honeyland” is really well edited, a key driver for this film, as is all the natural and candle light captured by the filmmakers. Despite its languorous tone, tight editing allows all of the storylines to clip right along, keeping you as engaged as any reality show would.