REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA I 2018 I COLOR I 87 MIN. I TURCO
Part epic drama, part fly-on-the-wall nature documentary, Tamara Kotevscva and Ljubo Stevanov´s Honeyland is a haunting portrait of one woman´s struggle to preserve a disappearing way of life. Immersive and beautiful, the film reads at times like a piece of fiction, exploring the tensions that arise when a large, rambunctious family move in next door to rural Macedonian bee-keeper Hatidze and her mother. Shot over three years, the film´s unassuming camera captures moments that are sometimes difficult to comprehend: a young girl nearly drowns in a river while her brothers play nearby; an entire herd of cows dies of starvation because someone forgets to feed them; a man ignores Hatidze´s advice and, in doing so, devastates the natural order. Foregrounding gorgeous, sweeping landscapes, insects and animals, the film is as much an homage to the natural world as it is an intimate character study, offering a stark example of how a harmonious balance can be disrupted by the violent pull of modernity.
Review by: Chloë Roddick
Ljubomir Stefanov | Skopje | North Macedonia, 1975
Tamara Kotevska | Prilep | Macedonia, 1993
Tamara Kotevska graduated in film direction from the Skopje School of Dramatic Arts. She has 5 years of experience in the making of documentary and fiction films as an independent director. Ljubomir Stefanov, on the other hand, has more than 20 years of experience in the development and production of communication and documentary concepts related to environmental issues and human development. Honeyland is their first feature film.