The best thing about an intricately-shot documentary like Honeyland is when the director takes their time.
There is no rushing to conflict or drama. We get to know protagonist Hatidze, watching her go about her daily life as Europe’s last female beekeeper. We learn about her long before we recognize the central struggle of the doc.
Because of this, the film buzzes with anticipation and allows us to empathize to a higher degree with a woman we’ve never met. When nomads flock to her land and her bees begin to die because of the operation happening in their habitat, we root for her.
It’s an arresting documentary as she attempts to show her new neighbouring beekeepers the threat with which they’ve placed her, and the bees, under.
As she struggles to make ends meet and save these beautiful creatures she respects, an unbreakable bond forms with the audience.
Shot over three years, directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov have created an insightful, earnest documentary about an incredible woman.
It’s a remarkable achievement, and a wonder of filmmaking to behold.