This surprise Sundance triple winner accompanies Hatidze Muratova, the last in a long line of wild beekeepers in northern Macedonia. The first film ever to be nominated for Oscars as both best documentary and best international feature film.
Hatidze and her mother are the last inhabitants of an abandoned village in North Macedonia, where she uses ancient methods to eke out a livelihood from harvesting the honey of wild bees. Their peaceful way of life is disrupted by the arrival of new neighbours.
The directors stumbled upon Hatidze’s beehives whilst researching an environmental documentary. They were intrigued by her beekeeping traditions and went on to shoot more than 400 hours of footage over the course of three years, working in rough conditions. Hatidze lived in a small, ramshackle hut with no electricity. Stefanov and Kotevska would visit for a few days at a time and sleep in tents. Their only plan was to wait for compelling shots.
What started as a short nature documentary evolved into a dramatic narrative, connecting an unfamiliar and remote way of life to a worldwide audience through the protagonists’ body language, relationships and emotions.
“Hatidze’s story is heartbreakingly moving, and needs no heavy editorialising. Her strength, dignity, resilience and humanity carry the film’s truth and weight.” Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald
“Over and over again while I was watching it, I was asking myself “How did they get that shot?” Christie Lemire, FilmWeek, L.A.