Two sisters follow beekeepers hunting for honey through the changing climates of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The bees forage on the former frontlines of the 1990s war, now lush and rewilding, far from industrial and urban development. But honey is vanishing. Bosnian Muslims have long cherished honeybees as divinely inspired and praised honey as medicine. The film conveys climate change effects on bees and shows what Islamic myths teach about living through the end times.
Anthropologists also make films: to teach, to convey insights of their research projects through stories, to think through different media. Filmmakers also do research: to make compelling stories, to teach, to entertain, as well as to invite thinking. Beekeeping in the End Times is an independent film put together by two sisters and beekeepers. The production process blended the tools and tasks of anthropology and filmmaking to bring forth unusual, upbeat stories about multispecies love and human responsibility while seriously considering the signs of our world going to wrack and ruin. Courtesy of the Wenner-Gren Fejos Fellowship for an ethnographic filmmaking and a grant from the ACLS/Luce Program for Religion, Journalism, & International Affairs, the co-directors collected 72 hours of footage, filming beekeepers and shepherds at 32 locations in the mountainous, riverine, and Mediterranean sub-climates of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A gifted musician, Mirza Redzepagic, wrote a highly original score, which blends maqam music, Sufi invocations, Balkan lore, and industrial beats to build up an atmosphere of the final times with all the twists and surprises entailed by honey hunting through a post-war, developing country. The film is currently in post-production.
“Apocalypse is a Heartbreak” is a video companion to the keynote delivered at “Organizing for Apocalypse,” a workshop convened by ephemera & AlterEcos at Copenhagen Business School on December 8-9. The footage from the film (in post-production) and the talk explore the meaning of the heart and its darkest hours in Islamic eschatology and in Sufi practical metaphysics.
FILM SET PHOTOS