The Real (Film Thoughts: Sid & Judy/Honeyland)

Thoughts on two documentaries:

p17064228_v_v8_aaI was a little lukewarm over ‘Judy’ as a film so I was glad I liked the new documentary ‘Sid & Judy,’ directed by Stephen Kijak. This is a great film that centers on Garland’s third marriage, though it briefly touches her earlier histories. Garland is obviously a complex character, and they show a bit of that in this film in a mostly dignified manner. I liked that the events did not feel sensationalized and they worked with some great footage including some great spoken word recordings by Garland and Luft themselves. Some dialogue is recreated by Jon Hamm and Jennifer Jason Leigh and they did not feel too cheesy. The video footage here is great, and we do hear and see a lot of Garland in action doing what she does best. And it is not too much if a depressing film.

rm1472174081That wasn’t the case with ‘Honeyland,’ which is a very interesting, but also very sad film. Set in rural Madeconia, this film by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, is about a woman, Hatidze, who does beekeeping the old-fashioned way.  She also cares about the bees – only takes half their honey, for example so they can all live harmoniously. When new neighbors come in, we see them wreck havoc on everything. It is disheartening to seeher live through this, all the while she is taking care of her elderly mother. Scenes where she goes to the market to barter her honey for food make my heart melt. I found myself thinking about her even after seeing the film. I wonder how she is now.

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