8/14/2019

Sundance Film Review: ‘Honeyland’



"The opening frames of “Honeyland” are so rustically sumptuous that you wonder, for a second, if they’ve somehow been art-directed. Elegantly dressed in a vivid ochre blouse and emerald headscarf, captured in long shot as she nimbly wends her way through a craggy but spectacular Balkan landscape, careworn middle-aged beekeeper Hatidze Muratova heads to check on her remote, hidden colony of bees — delicately extracting a dripping wedge of honeycomb the exact saturated shade as her outfit. With man and nature so exquisitely coordinated, it’s as if Hatidze herself has grown from the same rocky land, and in a sense, she has. Scraping by with her ailing mother Nazife on a tiny, electricity-free smallholding in an otherwise unpopulated Macedonian mountain settlement, Hatidze has known no other life, and has certainly seen more bees than people in her time."