DVD: The Beekeeper (18)

A ponderously paced but poignant story about an ageing beekeeper, who follows the pollen trail around a drearily grey Greece that is far from the picture-postcard vision usually seen on screen.

Directed by Greek auteur Theo Angelopoulos in 1986, the film is tender but tough-going, its air of melancholy beginning with a grim wedding scene and not letting up till the inevitable conclusion. The beekeeper's journey leads him away from strained family relations and into a new, but equally fraught, interaction with a young, cheekily charming hitchhiker. There's an ambiguous sexual charge in the air, and The Beekeeper includes some extremely uncomfortable scenes as Angelopoulos pushes at the boundaries of the relationship. But the directing is assured, and the performances restrained and heartbreakingly believable.

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