Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (The Boat is Full) tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees (reminiscent of Microcosmos) in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis.
Writes Eric Kohn in Indiewire: "Imhoof captures the breeding of queen bees in minute detail, ventures to a laboratory to witness a bee brainscan, and discovers the dangerous prospects of a hive facing the infection of mites. In this latter case, the camera's magnifying power renders the infection in sci-fi terms, as if we've stumbled into a discarded scene from David Cronenberg's The Fly." This is a strange and strangely moving film that raises questions of species survival in cosmic as well as apiary terms.
Also available with an English language voiceover by John Hurt.
"[A] marvelous bee-centric documentary ...a delightful, informative, and suitably contemplative study of the bee world and the bee-population crisis" - Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice
"Spectacularly beautiful" - Stephen Holden, New York Times
"It's a vibrantly absorbing trove of information, revealing things like the "Waggle Dance," discovered by Nobel Prize winner Karl von Frisch, the ingenious figure-eight movement bees perform to impart information about the directions and distance to vegetative sources of pollen and water and also housing locations." -- David Noh, Film Journal
"Poses philosophical questions about the ways bees interact with humans ...a curious, audacious mix of personal essay film and nature documentary." - Drew Hunt, Slant
"Richly documented and lavishly photographed...Imhoof obtains stunning images of (bees) at work." - Dan Fainaru, Screen Daily
"Makes a convincing argument for the role of bees sustaining both organic and industrial concerns...(an) effective melding of science and aesthetic delights." - Eric Kohn, Indiewire
"A beautiful, globe-spanning documentary examining bees and their complicated, interdependent relationship with humans. If you are expecting some run-of-the-mill nature doc, think again. This is the Citizen Kane of bee documentaries." - Ain't It Cool News
German Film Award Lola for Best Documentary Film 2013
Swiss Film Award Quartz Best Documentary Film 2013
Swiss Film Award Quartz Best Film Score 2013
Austria ROMY Award for Best Director Documentary Film 2013
Austria ROMY Award for Best Documentary Film 2013
Austrian Film Award for Best Sound Design 2013
Bavarian Film Award for Best Documentary Film 2013
Zurich Film Award Best Documentary Film 2012
Audience Award Solothurn Film Festival 2013 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Best Documentary Award 2013
Best Feature Award Green Film Festival San Francisco 2013
Audience Award UK Green Film Festival 2013
Audience Award Pelicam International Film Festival 2013