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T. Kotevska & Ljubomir Stefanov: Honeyland

Skrevet den 31-01-2019 15:42:45 af Tue Steen Müller

T. Kotevska & Ljubomir Stefanov: Honeyland

… T for Tamara, L for Ljubomir, producer and editor Atanas Georgiev, camerapersons Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma.

Composition of the image. Finding the rythm of the film. The tone. It’s all about form that you have to think about before you start filming. Does form come before content. Or said in modern documentary language, does form come before story. But what is story? Is it two bees crawling on a leaf? Or two bees fighting outside the beehive?

It’s all there in this beautiful documentary. Composition knowledge. Superb editing. Excellent camerawork. When you are outside in the vast rocky valley, where Atidze grow bees, and inside when she – born in 1964 – is in the hut with her 85 year old mother, who is lying in her bed and has been doing so for four years. There is no electricity which has given the camerapersons the opportunity to create the most amazing images with light from candles. The faces of daugther and mother, like paintings from Dutch masters.

Atidze knows the presence of the camera. Sometimes a little smile comes to her face as if she is proud to be the protagonist in a film. She is present, when she is caring about her mother and when she is with the neighbours, who come with all their cows – and noise – and children, with whom, at least with one of them, Atidze gets along, when he, the boy, runs away from mum and dad and the other children. He does not run a lot, they are just next door in their camper, trying to survive by growing bees as well. The family does not have the knowledge and understanding as has Atidze, and at the end of the day they are about to destroy her way of surviving. However Atidze cares about the neighbours, especially the kids, there are many magic moments in this film, like when the little girl stands on the doorsteps to the hut with a kitten in her arms. Do you want one, Atidze asks, what colour...

She walks up the mountain, she takes away a piece of stone to see how the bees are, she sings for them, removes the honey to take down and to go to sell in Skopje – far away – or at the marketplace. It’s a unique film!

Macedonia, 2019, 85 mins.

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