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Flying Around a Beehive 2
Bees at Work
Synopsis
Runtime and Genre
Fun Facts
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When a small town is confronted with bioterrorism, a disgruntled government employee and a troubled single mother navigate the crises together until each suspects the other of foul play.

Runtime: 35 minutes

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Camera: RED Komodo

Production Dates: Summer/Fall 2023

Filming Location: Boston, MA

  • Actors handled live honey bees with their bare hands in the apiary scenes.

  • Filming took 4.25 days to shoot and it was during a record heat wave in Boston.

  • The director makes a cameo appearance in the birthday party scene.

As the story goes, while beekeeper Charlotte is battling her insurance provider to find support for her daughter,

Violet, who is suffering from a genetic disease, her neighbor Jeremy struggles to secure therapy and medication

for his worsening schizophrenia. This occurs during a bioterrorist threat, which the healthcare system and local

government do little to alleviate. When Charlotte and Jeremy first meet, they strike up a unique friendship due to

their common bond over their troubles with the US healthcare system--and their love of honey. 

 

The title of the film references a fatal bacterial disease of honeybee brood. Bees are going extinct due to human

involvement, allowing killer bacteria called American Foulbrood to wipe out colony after colony. The story serves

as a metaphor for the current state of American society's healthcare system and a convenient reminder of how we must care for one another. Without care, society as we know it would be impossible. American Foulbrood teaches audiences that true democracy is one in which the public can candidly and fearlessly ask questions. The story is very much about questioning the US government. A questioning person does not become less patriotic than others. Instead, a good question can remind the people in authority of their obligations and pave the way for society's betterment. The intent of such questions is not personal gain but a collective gain for society. By voicing opinions and questioning issues via this film, one might be solving an individual problem, but it results in the collective good of all. 

                                                                  This film aims to raise awareness about how the broken American healthcare system negatively affects                                                                            society and offers a remedy. Currently, in many parts of the US, a new patient seeking care for a mental                                                                          disorder, such as schizophrenia, is put on a waitlist to see a provider that is 1-2 years long. Without prompt                                                                      access to care, those suffering from the illness may develop suicidal thoughts, irreversible brain damage,                                                                        and other mental health issues (Zhuo 2021). In addition, the rising cost of healthcare and certain drugs                                                                            excluded from coverage means there are many Americans who will needlessly suffer or die due to greed,                                                                        fraud, and abuse (Cohen 2018). In the film, Jeremy and Charlotte support one another as they navigate the                                                                      inequitable healthcare system and, in so doing, teach us something about healthcare reformation: social                                                                          solidarity. Jeremy and Charlotte are interconnected regarding their views on healthcare and drive home the                                                                      concept that care should not be a market product but a fundamental right. 

Jeremy, Charlotte, and Violet represent the millions of Americans suffering from a health insurance

industry practicing discrimination and lacking transparency and accountability (Lundebjerg et al.

2021). American Foulbrood's significance is that this film holds the power to shape our beliefs,

values, and perspectives. Every movie is set and developed in a particular culture. Movies are an

integral part of us; they mirror what we believe and how we coexist. It is easier to see our

concerns, attitudes, flaws, and strengths in films than decipher them from our daily interactions.

When our prevalent beliefs and ideologies are challenged in films like this one, we can better

interrogate ourselves and embrace change. 

 

Christina Hodel, Director

March 2024

 

Cohen, Marc A., and Judith Feder. 2018. "Financing Long-Term Services and Supports:  

Challenges, Goals, and Needed Reforms." Journal of Aging and Social Policy 30 (3/4): 209–26. 

 

Lundebjerg, Nancy E., and Walpole, Annette M. Medina. 2021. "Future Forward: AGS Initiative  

Addressing Intersection of Structural Racism and Ageism in Health Care." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 69 (4): 892–95. 

 

Zhuo, Chuanjun, Bo Xiao, Feng Ji, Xiaodong Lin, Deguo Jiang, Hongjun Tian, and Yong Xu.  

2021. "Patients with First-Episode Untreated Schizophrenia Who Experience Concomitant Visual Disturbances and Auditory Hallucinations Exhibit Co-Impairment of the Brain and Retinas--a Pilot Study." Brain Imaging and Behavior 15 (3): 1533.  

Director's Statement
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