More than Honey
Time Out says
Although the unexplained collapse of honeybee colonies is a global problem, the most startling moments in Markus Imhoof’s documentary take place on a microscopic level. The filmmaker enters the awesomely complex world of a hive, which one observer likens to a medium-size town, and the intricate movements with which these creatures convey the location of food sources are mind-boggling (high-tech cameras provide a bee’s-eye view); a comparative sequence in which Chinese laborers attempt to pollinate plants by hand functions as apocalyptic comedy.
Imhoof also cuts between a German beekeeper who hews to traditional methods and an industrially oriented American whose colonies are trucked from one artificial monoculture to the next. “I’m getting real comfortable with death on an epic scale,” the latter says after inspecting a shipment of bees clogged with lifeless bodies. (The two things motivating humans, he claims? Greed and fear.) More than Honey lets the death throes of a single bee, killed by one of the parasitic mites that spread when colonies are crammed together in the service of agribusiness, stand in for the larger calamity. It’s an appropriately alarming sequence, and one that suggests that since greed has had its day, it might be time to let fear have a turn.
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