Vanishing of the Bees

"Good"

Vanishing of the Bees Review


With an especially important message and a clear sense of hope, this documentary is both fascinating and intensely relevant. And despite the wobbly filmmaking, the facts get through and demand attention.

Around the world, millions of bees are mysteriously disappearing, mainly in America where beekeeping has become a major industry. The sudden collapse of hives is extremely worrying due to the potentially calamitous effects: a third of the food we eat depends on bees. Digging into the story, the culprit turns out to be systemic pesticides. Banned in France after beekeepers protested, they are still being used in other nations as the chemical companies insist they are safe (they do their own extremely limited testing) and governments refuse to take them on.

Yes, the solution to this potentially horrific problem is obvious. And hopefully this film will put pressure on politicians to stand up to the corporations who are carelessly undermining the food chain for profit. Of course, these are the same corporations who fund the politicians, which explains all the feet-dragging over the years, despite overwhelming evidence.

The facts are strong enough to overcome this rather simplistic documentary.

Choppy editing, cheap-looking animation, cheesily emotive music and a repetitive structure are actually minor problems; the real problem is the condescending, schoolmarm-ish narration, which continually states the obvious as if viewers are all 4 years old and have never heard of a bee before. At least this is balanced by astute comments from professional beekeepers, scientists and activists, plus a witty use of clips from the likes of The Simpsons and The Happening.

More persuasive is the righteous anger that wells up as we realise that all of this is due, yet again, to humans meddling with nature. And besides the insidious pesticides, there are farming methods that violate the earth's balance, transporting bees around the world as if they're merely cargo, harsh practices that manipulate honey production and, worst of all, the fact that corporations control America's Environmental Protection Agency, which one interviewee hilariously calls a bunch of "pestitutes". It's a pity the film isn't more sharply assembled than this; but we still get the message.



Vanishing of the Bees

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th October 2009

Distributed by: Dogwoof

Production compaines: Tiberius Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: George Langworthy, Maryam Henein

Producer: George Langworthy, Maryam Henein

Starring: as Narrator

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