20,000 Species of Bees
A gender-questioning eight-year-old and their mother spend a summer in the country with their family’s widowed matriarch, where tending to the beehives leads to illuminating and deeply personal revelations. Winner of Best Film at the 2023 Málaga Film Festival.
There's something genuinely magical about summer when you're a child. It's almost mythical—that "one" summer that people remember and idealize forever—whether it was their first taste of independence, the bloom of young love, self-discovery, or something truly indescribable. For eight-year-old Coco (Sofía Otero), it's the summer she spends with her maternal family in the sunny Spanish countryside that marks the beginning of her quest for gender identity. Her crisis of self is navigated by the diverse women in her family, who want to help her explore her femininity but are also dealing with generational trauma and artistic dilemmas of their own. This carefully constructed family drama does away with any stigma and embraces the metaphorical transformative beauty of nature. The touching mother/daughter dynamic in 20,000 Species of Bees is so brilliantly performed, it will leave you a sad, happy puddle on the floor and leave you hearing a buzz.
- Original Language Title: 20.000 especies de abejas
- Director: Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
- Principal Cast: Sofía Otero, Patricia López Arnaiz, Ane Gabarain, Itziar Lazkano, Sara Cózar
- Premiere Status: North American
- Country: Spain
- Year: 2023
- Running Time: 125 min.
- Producer: Valérie Delpierre, Lara Izagirre
- Screenplay: Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
- Cinematographers: Gina Ferrer
- Editors: Raúl Barreras
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Málaga Film Festival 2023 (Best Spanish Film, Best Supporting Actress)
- Filmography: Voces de papel (2016)
- Language: Spanish, Basque, French
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- US Distributor: Film Movement
- International Sales: Luxbox