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MORE THAN HONEY

MORE THAN HONEY
photo © zero one film

Billions of bees disappear every year. Despite intensive research, science has not managed to come up with a definite explanation. This is worrying because there is more at stake than honey. Even Albert Einstein allegedly said: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.”

Today the bee is one of the most important farm animals within the agricultural industry. Without pollination services provided by billions of honeybees, a large part of our fruit and vegetables would never end up in our supermarkets. The dependency is mutual. It is not just humans profiting from the bees – but vice versa. The bee followed in man’s footsteps in its worldwide expansion. But now the balance of power seems to shift. Is it just a momentary fluke or are we facing the early stages of total system collapse? Is it the bees? Or is it us?

The Oscar®-nominated director Markus Imhoof – himself grandson of a professional beekeeper – sets out on an international journey to find answers. Not only in Austria do queen breeders send their bees all over the world – by post. A US-American beekeeper transports his 15,000 colonies from one pesticide poisoned monoculture to the next while trying to keep them alive with antibiotics. In the mountains of Switzerland an old beekeeper protects his purebred original bees against all alien influence, yet they die of incest-induced weakness. And because the chemicals have killed all bees, workers in China have to climb the trees themselves for pollination…

Everybody talks about the death of the bees. MORE THAN HONEY talks about their lives. And about ours.


Markus Imhoof was born in 1941 in Winterthur/Switzerland. After studying German Language Studies, Art History and History, he studied Film in Zurich and Lodz. His films include: DANGER OF ESCAPE (TV, 1976), THAW (TV, 1977), DAS BOOT IST VOLL (1981), DIE REISE (1986), LE FILM DU CINÉMA SUISSE (1991), DER BERG (1992), FLAMMEN IM PARADIES (1997), and MORE THAN HONEY (2012).
Genre Environment/Ecology
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2012
Director Markus Imhoof
Screenplay Markus Imhoof, Kerstin Hoppenhaus
Cinematography Jörg Jeshel, Attila Boa
Producers Pierre Alain Meier, Markus Imhoof, Thomas Kufus, Helmut Grasser
Production Companies zero one film, Thelma Film/Zurich, ORMENIS Film/Zurich, Allegro Film/Vienna
Length 90 min
Format 35 mm, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Locarno 2012 (Piazza Grande), Toronto 2012, Vancouver 2012, CPH:DOX 2012, IDFA Amsterdam 2012, Tallinn Black Nights 2012, Santa Barbara 2013, Hong Kong 2013, Istanbul 2013, Planete Doc Warsaw 2013, Seattle 2013, Durban 2013, Guanajuato 2013
Awards Bavarian Film Prize 2012 (Best Documentary), Best Documentary Santa Barbara 2013, German Film Award 2013 (Best Documentary)
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, BR, SFR, Eurimages, Filmfonds Wien, Österreichisches Filminstitut, ORF, MEDIA, BAK, G+B Schwyzer Stiftung, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Aargauer Kuratorium, George Foundation, BAFU, SRG SSR idée suisse, Succès Cienma
German Distributor Senator Film Verleih/Berlin

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