Feature

Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?

Taggart Siegel's documentary investigates the collapse of bee populations around the world.

Directed by Taggart Siegel
(Not rated)

***

Filmmaker Taggart Siegel “favors hope over gloom,” said Jeff Shannon in The Seattle Times. That can be a refreshing trait when it’s wedded to a passion for exploring ecological disasters: It turns Queen of the Sun into “an uplifting call to action to solve a potentially disastrous problem.” Siegel’s subject here is the collapse of bee populations around the world, which could have a severe impact on American lives given that 40 percent of U.S. food production depends on bee pollination. But besides being informative about humans’ likely role in the crisis, this documentary is “one of the most beautiful nature films” in recent memory, said Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. In two “exquisite” sequences, we actually go inside hives and “follow bees as they sip on flowers.” “Some of the film’s more reverential moments are a bit much,” said Walter Addiego in the San Francisco Chronicle. “I could have used less rhapsodizing about the sacredness of the bees.” Even so, Siegel provides occasional flashes of humor, and his arguments are largely convincing. He even throws in a to-do list for those who want to offer help.

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