'Honeyland' tells the story of ancient beekeeping traditions Feb. 17
The After Hours Film Society presents "Honeyland" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave. in Downers Grove. Tickets are $10 or $6 for members.
In the film, Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in the mountains of Northern 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 the first film from North Macedonia to receive two Oscar nominations, one for best international feature film of the year and the other for best documentary feature.
Complimentary refreshments and discussion follow the film.
For information, visit www.afterhoursfilmsociety.com.
According to the directors Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska, the "Honeyland" story began long before humans ever lived in the region, but the film starts with its last two remaining inhabitants: Hatidze and her mother Nazife. Just as worker bees spend their entire lives taking care of the queen bee which never leaves the hive, Hatidze has committed her own life to the care of her blind and paralyzed mother, unable to leave their ramshackle hut. The film is set in an unearthly lan, unattached to a specific time and geography, unreachable by regular roads, and yet only 20 kilometers away from the nearest modern city. The families use an ancient Turkish vernacular, so the film is driven by visual narration rather than dialogue, the characters are understood through their body language and their relationships, and their emotions. This visual and visceral communication draws the audience closer to the protagonists, and more importantly, closer to nature.
The Nagoya Protocol, a United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, came into force at the end of 1993 and established global guidelines on access to natural resources. Its objective was the promotion of fair and equitable sharing of benefits for both providers and users. Genetic diversity, or biodiversity, enables populations to adapt to changing environments and a changing climate, contributing to the conservation and sustainability of resources. The "honey crisis" in this film illustrates the risk of ignoring these protocols and upsetting the respect for biodiversity. Hatidze's story is a microcosm for a wider idea of how closely intertwined nature and humanity are, and how much we stand to lose if we ignore this fundamental connection. To learn more about the film, visit www.honeylandfilm.com.