20,000 Species of Bees

20,000 Especies de Abejas

Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren | 2023 | 128 MINS
Spain | Subtitles
International Panorama: Spain

A child’s gender identity crisis is mirrored by her mother’s crisis of identity as an artist in this warm, generously performed film.

★★★★ The Guardian

In Detail

An eight-year-old child struggles with the fact that people keep addressing her in confusing ways.

During a summer in the Basque Country among the beehives, she explores her identity alongside the women of her family, who at the same time reflect on their own lives and desires.

Lucía (Sofía Otero) only really feels calm and happy in the company of her grandmother Lourdes (Ane Gaberain) and her bees, of which there are, significantly, many different sorts. But there are troubles ahead when a family christening looms at which Lucía and the other children are expected to wear special formal clothes and Lucía will want to wear a dress.

The hazy beauty of this critically acclaimed film (95% on the Rotten Tomatoes website) invites the viewer to contemplate and watch with empathy as Lucía realises she is a perfect creation and not a mistake.

"The film caused a sensation when Sofía Otero - the 9-year-old lead actress - became the youngest winner of the Silver Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival." - The Guardian.

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