Review: More Than Honey
More Than Honey is a new documentary all about bees from Oscar nominated director Markus Imhoof. Narrated by John Hurt, it is a film that looks intimately intimately the life of domestic bees, the dangers that are threatening them, and wonders at what the future will bring.
The best way to describe this documentary is like a series of thoughts and memories – an experience, rather than a piece of basic news reporting. In the voiceover John Hurt, speaking as the director, not only explains the nature and habits of bees, but talks about the director’s own childhood and grandfather, who was a beekeeper – this film is obviously quite a personal look at bees.
The fantastic visuals also add to this also dreamy quality, with beautiful shots of mountains and acres of almond tree fields all in stunning white bloom. On top this is the amazing macro-filmed scenes of bees inside their hives, which required cameras designed for human surgery, that allow you to see the bees in incredibly close detail. The humans in the film are just as interesting. We see behind the scenes at Miller’s, a huge producer of honey and pollinator in America, we meet a scientist examining bees brains and their methods of communication and a beekeeper who keeps the infamous ‘killer bees’ – which though more ferocious, has some advantages over the normal honey bee.
The film also looks at the problems the bees are facing and what that might mean for us. In an interview with the director, which is part of the extra features, he says the film allows us as the audience to come to our own conclusion – and I think that is true. He obviously cares for bees and is concerned about these problems, but the film does not become preachy.
In summary… More Than Honey is a fascinating look at bees that offers real insight into their world and the people who keep them. The shots and scenes where you get to see the bees up close in the hive are brilliant, as are some CGI flight scenes that give you a bees-eye view as it were. The DVD also contains a load of extras, including an interview with the director and several deleted scenes that I suggest you check out.
More Than Honey is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.