Coming to DVD next Tuesday, March 29: COLONY

Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell’s unusual and beautiful portrait of beekeepers dealing with the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder is both directors’ feature documentary debut, and had its world premiere in Toronto’s 2009 slate.

Colony Collapse Disorder is the term that’s been applied to an ongoing and still not fully explained crisis in which entire beehives or bee colonies simply vanish. Some of the immediate consequences for the apiarists who depend on the honeybee are succinctly stated in COLONY’s tagline: “No Bees. No Honey. No Work. No Money.” Beyond the direct financial strain this puts on Gunn and McDonnell’s subjects David Mendes and Lance and Victor Seppi, there is the far larger impact the disappearance of the honeybee has – on a global scale, they pollinate many of the world’s crops. Without them, we could add “No Food. No Life.” to the film’s tagline. Because of this potential severity, CCD has been a very popular subject for documentary filmmakers – I’ve seen at least half a dozen feature docs on the issue. COLONY continues to impress as one of the strongest, if not the strongest. The film features stunning photography, a clarity of storytelling, and intriguing characters – especially in the form of the struggling Seppis, devout Christians who almost seem displaced in time from some simpler era, being forced to deal with the collapse of their livelihood.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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