Directed by Blerta Bashollim, Hive reminds filmviewers that during 1999 Serbian forces slaughtered about 100 Albanian residents of the town of Krusha in Kosovo. Their remains are a mystery, especially to wives who were therefore impoverished. Two decades have passed, and the women stand in front of the government building one day pleading to locate remains of their husbands. Fahrije (played by Yllka Gashi) is one of those wives. To provide for her family, she sells honey from a backyard beekeeping colony just like her husband. He is one of those missing in action. But she must have money to feed her family. Her 75-year-old stepfather Haxhi (Çun Lajçi) is wheelchair-bound, so she is the breadwinner with two children. She meets with other war widows in town and decides to become entrepreneurial. She learns how to drive, gets a driving license, and drives her stepfather to sell her honey in an open market. She also gets bell peppers from a farmer, takes them home, has several women grind them into small pieces, adds a secret ingredient, and bottles up the mixture, called ajvar, for sale. A local supermarket offers to put them on display, though they are not doing well until she places a fancy label on the jars.

However, misogyny appears around town. Her daughter Zana (Kaona Sylejmani) even repeats nasty rumors that she is a whore just because she drives a car. When stopped in front of a café, someone throws a stone to break the side rear left window. Unknown persons raid her house and destroy some of the jars containing ajvar. The farmer even tries to rape her. But she is steadfast. The biopic ends with statistics of the carnage from the war but also notes that her company plans to export to the USA. The Political Film Society has nominated Hive as best film exposé as well as best film promoting democracy, human rights, and peace.  MH



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