Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2014: The Beekeeper
Having premiered in the UK just last week, The Beekeeper tells the story of a man whose life was uprooted by the Turkish-Kurdish war, eventually forcing him to seek refuge in Switzerland. We are taken on his journey to rebuild his life and his extensive bee colonies.
Although far from a cinematic revelation, The Beekeeper tells this tale in a simple, human way. Strip away the sensational and you are left with the people, individuals whose lives have been ravaged by civil unrest that has driven a man’s children to guerrilla warfare and their mother to suicide. Having been separated from most of his family, either by death or military commitment, Ibrahim Gezer is forced to leave his country with just his love of beekeeping and faith in others. Yet, even when he is able to seek safety in Sweden he still has to struggle to maintain his beekeeping and earn a living.
But beyond everything that this man and his family has been through, what is most striking is his love of people and community, and the trust he puts in others. Perhaps a mixture of his escape to the mountains to avoid military and police disruption, which forced him to live a solitary and simple life, and the many tragedies that have befallen his family has instilled this peaceful and caring philosophy in him.
A thoughtful and bittersweet film, The Beekeeper gives the audience an emotional insight into the lives of the people affected by this unrest – a face to the many. This heart-warming story is one of struggle, family, a man and his bees, but above all, humanity.