Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Honeyland (2019)

Directed by Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

Starring Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova, Hussein Sam, Ljutvie Sam


A slice of life in remote corner of the world, blurring the line between documentary and scripted story. As I watched the film, I thought it HAD to be scripted. How could a crew capture so many private, emotional moments with characters so unaffected by the camera’s presence? That’s the most impressive thing about this film, how invisible the camera was. How did they get the kids not to look at the camera? Was it just a matter of being on scene so much that they got bored of the camera and stopped reacting to it? With 400 hours of footage shot, maybe that was it.

It’s slow, and these characters and the lives they lead are sometimes miserable. But somehow, it’s engaging and hopeful. The message is that life goes on, and the resilient Hatidze will always find a way to make it work.

Some beautiful photography. Loved the moments an airplane passed overhead and the characters paused to look up.

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