For a relatively new country, or more accurately an autonomous province or partially-recognised state, Kosovo has had more than its fare share of trauma. During the Yugoslav Wars, it was the region which was on the receiving end of the most intense oppression from the Serbian authorities. Kosovan Albanians were the victims of horrendous discrimination, culminating in a number of massacres. This is the background to Blerta Basholli’s new film, Hive.
Fahrije (Yllka Gashi) lives with her two children and father-in-law (Cun Lajci) in a close-knit Kosovan town. Like most of the other women who live there, she’s anxiously waiting for news of her husband who disappeared during the war. Jumping every time there’s a ‘knock on her door’. When their bee hives stop producing, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. However, her endeavours fall foul of the patriarchal traditionalist values of the men in the village.
Hive is a powerful drama which highlights the suffering and persecution faced by many women around the world through the story of Fahrije’s determination and resilience. Gashi is the driving force behind Basholli’s film. It’s a wonderfully measured performance which encompasses all the sorrow and anger of the situation, while emphasising her inner strength. Like the industrious bees, Hive is a tale of what can be achieved when people work together and are given a chance.
Hive screens at Sundance Film Festival.