(director/writer: Markus Imhoof; screenwriter: Kerstin Hoppenhaus; cinematographer: Jorg Jeshel; editor: Anne Fabini; music: Peter Scherer; cast: John Hurt (Narrator), Fred Jaggi, John Miller, Randolf Menzel, Heidrun and Liane Singer, Fred Terry, Zhang Zhao Su; Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Markus Imhoof/Pierre-Alain Meier/Thomas Kufus/Helmut Grasser; Kino Lorber; 2012-Switzeland/Austria/Germany-in German/Swiss/Mandarin/English, with English subtitles when needed)
“Stinging but positive film about bees.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Swiss filmmaker Markus Imhoof’s(“The Journey”/”The Boat is Full”) insightful documentary is chock full of information and offers great close-up visuals (using microphotography), as it tells us such things as plants can’t have sex alone – and many need bees, and that a third of what we eat wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for bees. In this stinging but positive film about bees, that follows along the same lines as Vanishing of the Bees (2009), we get detailed looks at beekeepers in operation from across the globe, learn about how the bees exist, hear what some scientific professors have to say and get clued in that there’s a mysterious ever-diminishing bee population that should be of concern to the world.

The bee world is a secretive and fascinating one, and this well-crafted and photographed one does its subject justice as it focuses in on the relationship between bees and mankind. It also warns us our relationship with bees is vital for our future. If someone like Albert Einstein once said that ‘if the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would have only four years to live,’ then my attention is aroused. This film rewards me by providing a pretty full view of the bee world.

REVIEWED ON 11/24/2013 GRADE: B+