One of the most sensational films to come out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, “Honeyland” takes the daily minutiae of a Macedonian beekeeper and turns it into a haunting elegy for the perilous balance in which the natural world now hangs. The stunning documentary was the most awarded film at Sundance, taking home the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, a Special Jury Award for cinematography, and another Special Jury Award for Originality. Now, in the first official trailer, audiences can have a first look at the gorgeous cinematography and fascinating non-fiction storytelling that made “Honeyland” such a sensation.
Per the official synopsis: “Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in the mountains of Macedonia, making a living cultivating honey using ancient beekeeping traditions. When an unruly family moves in next door, what at first seems like a balm for her solitude becomes a source of tension as they, too, want to practice beekeeping, while disregarding her advice. ‘Honeyland’ is an epic, visually stunning portrait of the delicate balance between nature and humanity that has something sweet for everyone.”
In the words of IndieWire writer Chris O’Falt, who included “Honeyland” on IndieWire’s list of the best movies at Sundance this year, the film captures “the struggle between a woman’s connection with nature and a reckless patriarch [that] becomes an allegory of everything wrong with our world. It’s impossible to not feel for the quiet, lonely decency of Hatidze, an early candidate for 2019’s best protagonist, but it’s the way her journey is filmed that makes this such a special film. Directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov capture both character and conflict in verite moments shot with lush beauty and yet surprising formal rigor.”
IndieWire critic David Ehlrich gave the film a B+ in his review, calling it “a bitter and mesmerically beautiful documentary that focuses on a single beekeeper as though our collective future hinges on the fragile relationship between she and her hives.”
“Honeyland” premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and then screened at New Directors/New Films. Neon will release “Honeyland” in theaters on July 26. Check out the visually evocative trailer below.