Based on the award winning play by Deborah Grimberg, The Honey Makers tells the story of Arjun and Lalita. Set in 1984 London, two Indian immigrants from Uganda struggle to create a home in the face of mounting resentment. All whilst dealing with a bee invasion in their own garden.
The bees provide an insightful metaphor into the couple, their relationship and their outlook on the wider situation. Lalita is forthright, decisive and wants rid of the bees quickly. That’s why she calls a beekeeper, Arthur, to remove them. Arjun is more passive, diplomatic. He, somewhat naively, believes that everyone can ultimately live together in harmony. That if they leave them alone, they won’t bother them. However as it will show, it only takes one wrong move for the situation to turn south and put everyone in danger. Also that the great white hope may not be the salvation they are looking for and they must confront their problems themselves.
Director Jeneffa Soldatic uses all the tools in her arsenal; cinematography, production design and costume to effectively recreate the 1980s. It feels authentic and sadly all to relevant. Not only is it shocking to think these attitudes were prevelant just 30 years ago but that not much has changed in the interim.
The feelings stirred up by the story are fuelled by the terrific performances. Anil Goutam and Nila Aalia are suitably empathetic as the long-suffering couple. Quickly able to give a sense of their history as a couple and illicit a connection to the viewer, whilst in the face of shocking bigotry and evil. Personified by Kane Surry who oozes a chilling menace as the lead Skinhead.
In spite of its short run time, The Honey Makers packs a solid emotional punch and will have you asking yourself what you would do if placed in a similar situation.
Director: Jeneffa Soldatic
Stars: Finbar Lynch, Nila Aalia, Anil Goutam, Kane Surry
Runtime: 12 minutes