One review on 20 Sep 2022

Macedonia 2019

Running time: 90 mins


Medena zemja

Directors : Tamara Kotevska , Ljubomir Stefanov 

Setting: North Macedonia
Original language: Turkish
Summary: In a deserted village in mountainous north Macedonia 50 year old Hatidze keeps semi-wild bees and cares for her mother.

Subjects & Cameos:

  • Hatidze Muratova  subect

Aspect Ratio: 1.85 widescreen

Colour: Colour

Sound: Dolby digital

Camera: Nikon DLSR

Tech Notes: Camera : Nikon DLSR. Dolby digital

First Seen: Tue 20th Sep 2022
Catalogued: 23rd Sep 2022


Hatidze is one of the last remaining peasants in northern Europe. We follow her gathering wild bees, tending for her skeps, gathering her honey ("take half, leave half") and going to the city to sell/trade her wares. In between times she cares for her 80+ bedridden mother.

An itinerrant family move in next door with a tribe of children and a herd of 100+ cows. Hatidze accepts them and shares her beekeeping knowledge - they acquire bees of their own which overwhelms Hatidze's operation. After they take too much of their bees honey and half their calves die they move on and Hatidze faces another inter alone with her mother. The mother dies but life goes on with Hatidze plus bees, cats and dog now the sole resdient in the village.


by rogerco on Tue 20th Sep 2022 DVD proj @ home (Subtitled)

A Honeyed Life


Extraordinary glimpse of the embers of a dying way of living

Full review

While watching I wasn't aware that this was a documentary - the narrative seemed to good to have happened accidentally, but much of it looked like documentary - the children clearly weren't actors, and the gaps and moments missed probably wouldn't happen in a fully constructed movie.

The scenery and people and lives depicted are stunning. The embers of a dying way of living still flickering in the the forgotten corners of Europe, and the fully embodied wisdom that such a life requires seem extraordinary to those of us trapped in a consumer-capitalist culture.

A major missing element, as a documentary, is any evidence of the relationship between the film-makers and the subjects. They apparently spent three years shooting the film, but in doing so they have erased their own presence. This inevitably raises questions as to the extent to which events were manipulated or reconstructed.

Hatidze's acceptance of the family passing through her life and their impact on her is an object lesson in the benefits of adaptability and living well based on being true to your self in relation to the world.

In the end, as in our world, life goes on. The bees return, Hatidze, and the mountains that created her, will persist even as their seasons change. A very affirmative film. 

xbFilms by CrOsborne