At the bottom of the Hanyuan valley in Sichuan province, China, bees are going extinct due to widespread use of pesticides and monocultures. In this lush landscape, that hides an ecosystem on the brink of collapse, three farming families work the fields worrying about their children’s futures.
Cao, a successful fruit cultivator, follows the recommendations of the authorities to spray pesticides and hand-pollinate hundreds of trees. Season after season, his wish to send his granddaughters to university outgrows the realisation that his work may harm the environment. Jingjing, the seven-year-old daughter of beekeepers Zhang and Chen, travels thousands of kilometres up north to see her parents. They had to move away from Hanyuan to save the bees and leave Jingjing behind with her grandparents. Ye, a single parent living on the top of the mountain, wants to spend his last money on an organic cherry orchard. To finish his house and pay for his son’s education they need to raise their income. When his father puts pressure on him to spray the crop to protect it from pests, Ye is prone to give in.
Dir. Mikael Kristersson, Åsa Ekman, Oscar Hedin Hetteberg - 70min - 2021 - Sweden
"People doing the work of bees, is a stunning metaphor to the absurdity of being human" - Grand Prix, Matsalu Nature Film Festival
"Quiet, beautiful and terrifying" - Skånska Dagbladet
"bees go missing in China despatch from the eco-apocalypse" - The Guardian