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Anna Katharina Schwabroh,
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The unexplainable phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder has left landscapes of empty beehives all across America, threatening not only the beekeeping industry but our food supply. As scientists and beekeepers search for the cause, Colony captures the struggle within the beekeeping community to save the honeybee and themselves. Colony documents a time of unprecedented crisis in the world of the honeybee through the eyes of both veteran beekeeper, David Mendes, and Lance and Victor Seppi, two young brothers getting into beekeeping when most are getting out. As Mendes tries to save the nation's collapsing hives, the Seppi's try to keep their business alive amidst a collapsing economy. Written by
Colony is a documentary that concentrates (for the most part) on an important issue: what is killing a third of the nation's honeybees? Unfortunately, it is not a very focused movie and doesn't offer many facts, statistics or answers. The film moves too slowly to get into, so most people will probably turn it off halfway through, and that doesn't matter much, because nothing is discussed in much detail and nothing is resolved in the second half anyway.
Rather than dazzling us with facts about the bees themselves and then scaring us with projections about what is going to happen to our food supply if the problem is not solved, the movie concentrates on a select group of bee farmers who are all depressed about their situations. A good portion of the film strays away from the theme at hand and concentrates instead on one family who is struggling with the economy as they try to get a client to honor a contract, and what does that really have to do with the mass extinction of the bees? Is this a movie about the effects of the economy on the bee industry or is this a movie about how pesticides might be killing off the bees? To make it more muddled, that particular family is highly religious, so a good portion of Colony sort of comes across as an annoying documentary about the faith and struggles of this one family. I feel for the plight of all the bee keepers portrayed in the film, but the film simply fails at engaging us.
This movie could have easily been trimmed down from 85 minutes to 45 minutes and it would probably have been much more watchable and informative.
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