Honeyland – Hot Docs 2019 Quickie Review

For a film about a beekeeper, trying to live through her everyday life, it’s surprisingly one of the most immersive film experiences I’ve had so far this year. Directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, with a crew of only four people, what they have achieved with this documentary is beyond impressive. The most brilliant thing about Honeyland is that it doesn’t use the traditional format of interviews and instead plays all of it’s sequences with what happens within the highlighted abandoned village in the film. This makes Honeyland almost feel like it’s actually telling a narrative, that almost makes the viewer fooled into thinking they were watching an actual fictional film.

Honeyland has tons patience in what it decides to show to the viewer, and really allows you to get into the daily life of this beekeeper, especially when you see how she works and takes care of her sick dying mother. By the end of the documentary, you will not just be invested in the events that happen in the hour and a half run-time, you will also be left saddened by the events within the film. What makes Honeyland that much more cinematic, is the cinematography. Shot only on one lens, the film uses its shots of nature to really bring you into the film. Even shots that are filmed during the night uses natural lighting, which looks amazing and breathtaking.

Honeyland is an incredibly immersive experience that will draw audiences to see the film. It’s edited and put together in such a great way, that it really feels like a story that is being told in front of the viewer, just from its visuals. This makes Honeyland, an important documentary to watch and one to be experienced, for all ages alike.

8/10

Honeyland is set to be screened at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, as part of the Animal Magnetism program, on the following dates:

Thursday, May 2nd – 3:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Friday, May 3rd – 6:45 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Saturday, May 4th – 3:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

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