"Colony" is a fascinating and important documentary about bees. I consider myself knowledgeable about agriculture and biology, so I was surprised about how much this film raised my awareness of a potential crisis in our midst. Within recent years, American honeybees have been disappearing at alarming rates. Still the most pivotal component in pollinating much of our food crop supply, this syndrome (called Colony Collapse Disorder) has threatened agriculture and farming across the country. "Colony" investigates this phenomenon largely through the perspective of a group of bee keepers, and this approach makes the subject surprisingly personal. Balancing the drama of business with science and economy, this comprehensive documentary really covers all the bases and highlights a problem that might have long range repercussions that affect us all.
"Colony" is both entertaining and informative, and you really can't expect much more from a documentary. It looks great and the beauty and importance of the bee is respected at all times. The visual splendor of the colonies is photographed with precision and they really are a natural wonder. But just as intriguing are those that make their living tending to the bees. It is a passion as well as an industry and the small community presented within "Colony" provide an interesting and human counterpoint to the film. One family, in particular, is at the center of the documentary and their struggle to stay in business provides the largest emotional component to the proceedings.
Anyone interested in science or even current events should be captivated by "Colony." It's a topic that we may not all be aware of--but that doesn't lessen its urgency. Solid and level headed, this presentation represents balanced film making on a dilemma that needs to be brought to life. No one knows why the bees are dying--although the movie's participants postulate different theories. Ultimately, though, a cooperation must be forged with larger industry to study the problem further. There is much to learn and "Colony" is a great introduction of the topic. Not just educational, however, the film is also immensely entertaining. KGHarris, 3/11.