Friday, December 1, 2023

Maya documentary ‘What Happened to the Bees?’ debuts in cinemas this week

A documentary that explores the deadly effects of agrochemicals on bees premieres in cinemas in several states on Friday.

Made by filmmaker Adriana Otero and photographer Robin Canul, What Happened to the Bees? tells the story of Maya beekeeping communities in Campeche that came together in 2012 to investigate the cause of the deaths of millions of their bees. They subsequently confront authorities and the agrochemical company Monsanto over putting their livelihoods at risk.

Led by beekeepers Gustavo Huchin and Leydy Pech, the communities fight to put an end to the sowing of genetically modified soybeans on or near their land.

Her leadership in fighting GM crops won Pech the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2020.

The documentary also seeks to educate viewers about the importance of looking after bees, given that they are pollinators of huge numbers of wild and commercially grown plants.

“We show the fight of the Mayan beekeepers like Gustavo Huchin and Leydy Pech, who dedicate their lives to the protection of bees … to look after the life of the planet,” Otero said.

“… The documentary shows the negative effect of agro-industry and the use of agro-toxins on pollinators, our environment and our health. It’s a tribute to the farmers of Mexico,” she said.

Canul said the documentary also explores the impact of public policy on beekeeping and agriculture. The policies are “designed at desks and don’t take the wisdom and knowledge of communities into account,” he said.

What Happened to the Bees?, which has only previously been shown at film festivals, will be screened at cinemas in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, Mérida and Campeche city starting Friday. More information about the 68-minute documentary and screening times and locations can be found on the website of its production company.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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