Die Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer
Director: Wolfram Junghans, Waldemar Bonsels
Writer: Curt Thomolla
Based on: Waldemar Bonsels’ novel The Adventures of Maya the Bee
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by: Florian C. Reithner, played by the Ensemble Filmharmonie
Maya is a small bee who is born on the same day as the new queen. While her teacher Cassandra takes care of Maya, the hive splits in two. Despite that, Maya grows up with a very strong natural curiosity and so one day she takes off and goes on an adventure, meeting the various creatures and facing different dangers.
The movie is quite impressive for two things: one, it’s a real life fiction film with all insect actors, and two, it is full of completely disgusting war rhetoric. But the music was wonderful and more than made up for that.
I used to watch the Biene Maja animes as a child (as probably every German speaking kid did, and maybe even a few Japanese kids), but I really don’t remember any war-mongering. But seriously, the intertitles were partly really disgusting patriotism-and-honor-death-ads like you wouldn’t believe. 100 years ago that might have been all the rage, but I just thought it was disturbing.
But apart from that the film was really impressive. I mean, that’s some difficult film making right there (though admittedly they didn’t really treat the insects very well in the process) and it worked extremely well. (They should have abstained from including the elves in the process, though.)
And I really, really loved the music. Reithner (who had his debut at the Konzerthaus that night) really managed to capture all the different sounds of the various insects (using jaw harps for the grasshoppers, for example, was brilliant) but it still remained a harmonic whole that wasn’t just about using different instruments for different insects.
I hope that there is a recording of this and that I can get my hands on it someday. Though I probably won’t want to see the film again.
Summarising: If the movie had better politics, it would have been a perfect evening. As it was, it was “just” wonderful.