The Bee-Keeper
The Bee-Keeper

The Bee-Keeper

Director Theodoros Angelopoulos

Production year 1986

Length 120min.

Country Greece/France


Spyros, on the day of his daughter’s wedding, gives up his position as a schoolteacher, his wife, his home and his city to take up again the profession of his father and grandfather. Traveling across Greece to the town where he was born and first learned to tend to bees, following the traditional beekeeper's way of , looking for flowers that will produce the best honey, the wanderer becomes obsessed with his job. Like a bee returning to its hive after searching for food, he visits his old friends and his childhood home, looking for threads to connect him to the present. He drives from town to town, old haunts to old comrades reliving his past in his memory, trying to reconcile his past ideals with a swiftly changing nation that makes him feel uncomfortable. At some point he picks up a promiscuous young hitchhiker who tags along with him during his journey and seems to represent a new generation – without memory and unconcerned about the past, drifting from one city to the next in present-day Greece. He becomes obsessed with her. She both irritates and entices him. What he seeks in her is a contact with the future, but for her the future is a casual encounter with the next moment. For Spyros the past is everything, for her it is nothing. Unable to come to terms with the present, betrayed by the past, wary of the future, Spyros falls back into silence and isolation and returns to his hives, abandoning himself to the stings of his bees.


Theodoros Angelopoulos
Theodoros Angelopoulos



Theodoros Angelopoulos, Giuseppe Colombo, Enzo Rispoli


Theodoros Angelopoulos with the participation of Dimitris Nollas, Tonino Guerra

Director of Photography

Giorgos Arvanitis

Production designer

Mikes Karapiperis

Music by

Eleni Karaindrou


Nikos Achladis


Takis Yannopoulos


Marcello Mastroianni, Nadia Mourouzi, Serge Reggiani, Jenny Roussea, Dinos Iliopoulos

Production company(ies)

Greek Film Centre ERT-1 TV (Greece), Paradis Films (Paris), Basicinematografica (Rome), Theodoros Angelopoulos Films

Theodoros Angelopoulos

Born 1935, Athens․ He studied law at the University of Athens. After completing his military service, he went to Paris to attend Sorbonne, and then enrolled in the prestigious French film school, IDHEC, to study film. He worked for a time at the Musée de l'Homme under the tutelage of Jean Rouch, the ethnographer and pioneer of cinema verite. He returned to Athens in 1964 and, until 1967, was a film critic for the leftist paper Democratic Change. He began to make films at around 1965 – an attempt at a full-length feature film entitled The Forminx Story, which he never completed after a disagreement with the producers – and then a short film Broadcast. In 1970 came his first full-length feature film Reconstruction. Since then his films have been featured in countless international festivals and have won numerous awards, which have established his reputation as one of the most influential directors in contemporary cinema.


Forminx Story (1965), The Broadcast (1968), Reconstruction (1970), Days of ’36 (1972), The Travelling Players (1974-75), The Hunters (1977), Megalexandros (1980), One Village, One Villager (1981, TV), Athens, Return to the Acropolis (1983, TV), Voyage to Cythera (1983), The Bee-Keeper (1986), Landscape in the Mist (1988), The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991), Ulysse’s Gaze (1995), Lumiere and Company (segment, 1995), Eternity and a Day (1998), The Weeping Meadow (2003), To Each His Own Cinema (segment Trois Minutes, 2007), Dust of Time (2008)

FILMS 2010