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Antoine Tsac
Antoine Tsac

Honeyland: A Documentary About the Last Wild Beekeeper in Europe


Honeyland: A Documentary About Beekeeping and Life




If you are looking for a captivating and inspiring documentary to watch, you might want to check out Honeyland, a 2019 film that was nominated for two Oscars in the categories of Best International Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature. Honeyland tells the story of Hatidže Muratova, one of the last wild beekeepers in Europe, who lives in a remote mountain village in North Macedonia with her elderly mother. The film follows her lifestyle before and after a nomadic family moves in nearby and disrupts her peaceful coexistence with nature.




honeyland


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Honeyland is not only a beautiful portrait of a remarkable woman and her ancient craft, but also a powerful message about the importance of conserving biodiversity, respecting natural resources, and living in harmony with the environment. In this article, we will explore the story, themes, and lessons of this documentary, and why it is worth watching.


The Story of Hatidže Muratova




Hatidže Muratova is a Macedonian beekeeper of Turkish descent, who lives in Bekirlija, an abandoned village with no electricity, running water, or roads. She is one of the last keepers of wild bees in Europe, using traditional methods passed down through generations. She climbs up cliffs and trees to find wild beehives, harvests honey without protective gear or smoke, and always leaves half of the honey for the bees. She sells her honey at the market in Skopje, which is four hours away from her village. She earns a modest living from her honey, which she shares with her 85-year-old mother Nazife, who is bedridden and blind. Hatidže cares for her mother with love and patience, despite their difficult situation.


Hatidže's beekeeping practice is based on a simple principle: "Half for me, half for you". She believes that by sharing with the bees and nature, she ensures her survival and well-being. She respects the bees as her friends and partners, not as her property or slaves. She understands the delicate balance of the ecosystem and does not exploit or harm it. She enjoys her work and finds joy in the beauty of nature.


Hatidže faces many challenges in her life, such as isolation, poverty, loneliness, and hardship. She has no family or friends besides her mother. She has no access to modern amenities or services. She has no education or formal training. She has no protection or support from anyone. Yet she does not complain or despair. She remains optimistic, resilient, generous, and kind. She has a strong sense of identity, dignity, and purpose.


The Arrival of the Sam Family




Hatidže's quiet existence is changed when the Sam family arrives in her village. The Sam family consists of Hussein, his wife Ljutvie, their seven children, their cattle, and their trailer. They are nomadic ranchers who move from place to place in search of pasture and income. They have a different lifestyle and worldview from Hatidže.


Honeyland documentary film


Honeyland beekeeper Hatidže Muratova


Honeyland Oscars nominations


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Honeyland wild honey harvesting


Honeyland ancient beekeeping methods


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Honeyland directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov


Honeyland mother-daughter relationship


Honeyland nomadic rancher Hussein Sam


Honeyland Skopje market scene


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Honeyland bee attack and aftermath


Honeyland Bekirlija village setting


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At first, Hatidže welcomes them with an open heart. She teaches them how to harvest honey from wild bees. She plays with their children and gives them gifts. She hopes to have a friendly relationship with them and share the land peacefully. However, things soon turn sour. Hussein, under pressure from his wife and a greedy merchant, decides to increase his honey production by any means necessary. He disregards Hatidže's advice and wisdom, and violates her principle of "half for me, half for you". He takes more honey than he should, leaving the bees with nothing. He also introduces new bees from another region, which causes conflict and disease among the bees. He does not care about the quality or sustainability of his honey, only about the quantity and profit. As a result, Hatidže's bees are harmed and her honey is reduced. She loses her main source of income and livelihood. She confronts Hussein and his family, but they ignore or mock her. She feels betrayed, hurt, and angry. She watches helplessly as her way of life is threatened and destroyed by their greed and ignorance. The Sam family also faces problems of their own. Their cattle die from drought and disease. Their children are neglected and unhappy. Their trailer catches fire and burns down. Their honey is rejected by the merchant for being low-quality. They end up leaving the village in debt and despair.


The Lessons from Honeyland




Honeyland is more than just a documentary about beekeeping. It is also a documentary about life, nature, and humanity. It shows us the beauty and fragility of our planet, and the consequences of our actions on it. It teaches us valuable lessons that we can apply to our own lives and society.


One of the lessons is the importance of conservation and sustainability. Hatidže shows us how to live in harmony with nature, by respecting its limits and balance. She does not take more than she needs, nor does she waste or pollute what she has. She preserves the biodiversity and health of the ecosystem, which in turn provides for her needs and well-being. She demonstrates that conservation is not only good for the environment, but also for ourselves.


Another lesson is the importance of wisdom and compassion. Hatidže shows us how to live in harmony with ourselves and others, by following her principle of "half for me, half for you". She does not act selfishly or greedily, nor does she harm or exploit anyone. She shares her knowledge and resources with generosity and kindness. She treats everyone, including the bees, as her friends and equals. She shows that wisdom and compassion are not only good for our relationships, but also for our happiness.


Conclusion




Honeyland is a documentary that deserves to be watched by everyone who cares about the world we live in. It is a captivating and inspiring story of a woman who lives in harmony with nature and herself, despite the challenges she faces. It is also a powerful message about the importance of conserving biodiversity, respecting natural resources, and living in harmony with the environment.


If you want to learn more about Honeyland, you can watch the trailer here: [text]. You can also visit the official website here: [text]. If you want to learn more about beekeeping and related topics, you can check out these books: [text], [text], [text].


We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new from it. Have you watched Honeyland yet? What did you think of it? What are some other documentaries that you would recommend? Let us know in the comments below!


FAQs




  • Where can I watch Honeyland?



You can watch Honeyland on various streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV+, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, etc.


  • Who directed Honeyland?



Honeyland was directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, two Macedonian filmmakers who spent three years filming Hatidže's life.


  • Is Honeyland a true story?



Honeyland is a true story based on real events and people. However, some scenes were edited or staged for dramatic effect.


  • How did Honeyland get nominated for two Oscars?



Honeyland was submitted by North Macedonia as its entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards. It was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature by the Academy's Documentary Branch. It became the first film to be nominated in both categories in the history of the Oscars.


  • What happened to Hatidže and the Sam family after the film?



According to the filmmakers, Hatidže still lives in Bekirlija with her mother, who is


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