Screening in film festivals worldwide from Berlin and Zurich to Toronto and Guadalajara, this adaption of the best-selling novel by Fiona Shaw is a moving portrayal of two women in postwar Scotland torn between their true emotions and societal expectations.
Dr Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) returns to the town she left as a teenager to take over her late father’s medical practice. When a school-yard scuffle lands young Charlie (Gregor Selkirk) in her surgery, she invites him to visit the hives in her garden and tell his secrets to the bees, as she once did. The new friendship between the boy and the beekeeper brings his mother Lydia (Holliday Grainger) into Jean’s world. In the sanctuary of the doctor’s house, the two women find themselves drawn to one another in a way that Jean recognises and fears, and Lydia could never have expected. But, in 1950s small-town Britain, their new secret can’t stay hidden forever.
Contrasting magic-realism with the gruff and tough local life of Jean and Lydia, this is a gentle exploration of 1950s womanhood as an identity dictated by men, which resulted in unthinkable traumas.