Honeyland: Award-Prizing Docu at 2019 Sundance Film Fest

Though set in a remote, forgotten spot, hardly known to Western viewers, Honeyland, Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska’s debut feature docu, raises interesting questions that go beyond its particular locale and persona.

World premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Fest, where it won top prize, Honeyland will be shown this month in the New Directors/New Films sponsored by MoMA.

Nestled in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in a house without roads, electricity or running water. She’s the last in a long line of Macedonian wild beekeepers, farming honey in small batches to be sold in the closest city, which is hours away.

Hatidze’s peaceful existence is thrown into upheaval by the arrival of an itinerant family, headed by Hussein, with their seven rambunctious children, herd of cattle, and ambitious goals.

Sensing business opportunity, Hussein, the family’s patriarch, develops an interest in selling his own honey, which affects the very existence of the two women.

This relatively small and “simple story evolves into a conflict with Hatidze that exposes the fundamental tensions between nature and humanity, harmony and discord, exploitation and sustainability.

The filmmakers show emotional affinity with their subjects, and though the conflict has some grim consequences, they still find humor and humanity in it.

A chronicle of a  fast disappearing way of life, Honeyland shows how, under the right circumstances, an ordinary woman becomes extraordinary heroine.



Running time: 85 min.