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Directed by Blerta Basholli • 2021 • Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia
Starring Yllka Gashi, Çun Lajçi, Aurita Agushi
This Sundance award winner—the first film in the festival’s history to receive the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award, and the Directing Award—is a searing portrait of loss and a woman’s uphill journey to freedom. Based on a true story, HIVE follows Fahrije (Yllka Gashi), who, like many of the other women in her patriarchal village, has lived with fading hope and burgeoning grief since her husband went missing during the war in Kosovo. In order to provide for her struggling family, she pulls the other widows in her community together to launch a business selling honey and ajvar, a popular local food. Together, they find healing and solace in considering a future without their husbands—but their will to begin living independently is soon met with hostility. Against the backdrop of Eastern Europe’s civil unrest and lingering misogyny, Fahrije and the women of her village join in a struggle to find hope in the face of an uncertain future.