Hive (2021)

Director: Blerta Basholli
Writer: Blerta Basholli
Cast: Yllka Gashi, Çun Lajçi, Aurita Agushi, Kumrije Hoxha, Adriana Matoshi, Molikë Maxhuni, Blerta Ismaili, Kaona Sylejmani, Mal Noah Safqiu, Xhejlane Terbunja
Seen on: 18.7.2022

Content Note: sexualized violence/attempted rape, (critical treatment of) misogyny

Fahrije (Yllka Gashi) shares the same fate as most of the women in her village in Kosovo: her husband went missing in the war, and he has yet to be found. Every now and then new remains are uncovered, and it is unclear what would be worse: finding traces of him, or continuing not to. But Fahrije doesn’t really have time to consider these questions. She has two children, Zana (Kaona Sylejmani) and Edon (Mal Noah Safqiu), and a disabled father-in-law, Haxhi (Çun Lajçi) to take care of. Their only source of income is the sale of honey, but the bees don’t give as much honey as they used to. So Fahrije decides to get a driver’s license with the help of the Women’s Association, even though she knows what this will mean for her reputation in the village. And that’s not enough: she also kickstarts a business for the women in the village to sell their home-made ajvar in the city. But the remaining men around her don’t make things easier.

Hive is based on a true story. It brings the lasting effects of the war in Kosovo very close, while also managing to be a feminist story full of hope. It’s an excellent film, especially given that it’s Basholli’s debut feature.

The film poster showing Fahrije (Yllka Gashi) wearing a beekeeper's hat.
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