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Film Review: Hive
by Karen Pecota

Based on a true story, the award-winning filmmaker Blerta Basholli writes the screenplay and directs her latest film project called HIVE. Basholli uses these following two sentences, one as a tagline and the other as a logline to quickly describe the message of her narrative: 1) One women's fight against the patriarchy is every woman's victory; 2) She lost her husband, and in the struggle to go on, she gains her freedom.

The tragedies of a war-torn country is not the only seen with the naked-eye. It's the pain one can not see of loved ones lost or never found that lasts a lifetime. Survivors of war have two choices: 1) take their pain of loss, dwell on it and become paralyzed to start a new; or, 2) use the resources available to them to start a new life--possibly lone or together with others who have suffered the same loss.

Basholli shares one such story of the people in the Krusha e Madhe village in Kosovo.

While working on a school project in her apartment, Basholli was listening to a lady, Fahriji Hoti, who lived in Kosovo, talk about getting her driver's license. This was no small task for her. She endured intense ridicule from the people in her village to go against traditions of a woman's place. Basholli found Fahriji's story difficult and yet fascinating.

Basholli recalls, "I was intrigued by her will and power to not only survive, but to achieve something great and never look back." She adds, "Her positivity and energy are fascinating. That is something I wanted to bring on screen, a strong female character, full of colors and a woman protagonist that needs to be seen by Kosovo and a wider audience."

Basholli explains, "In March of 1999, the village Krusha e Madhe experienced one of the biggest massacres during the war in Kosovo. More than 240 people from the (Fahriji's) village were killed and gone missing." She continues, "Today, twenty years later, over 1600 people from the country of Kosovo are still missing, and 64 from Krusha e Madhe."

Basholli acknowledges, "Many suspect a different outcome of those missing and there are still some who hope they will return...alive."


Fahriji, was caring for two young children and other family members in the absence of her husband. She had to find a way to financially survive. Her husband, Bashkim worked abroad but enjoyed making money on the side as a Bee Keeper. Fahriji was no good at keeping Bees in order to produce enough honey to survive on the proceeds. She needed to find another opportunity to provide for her family. She saved enough money to get her driver's license because this was the way forward to secure work in the city.

Disappointed at the difficulty to find work as a woman in a patriarchal society, Fahriji started a little business making homemade goods. A supermarket manager in the big city decided to market her products. Fahriji's homemade goods were in such demand her business blossomed to where she needed more help and began to employ other widows in her village. In spite of the push-back from the village people, her struggles only gave her the will to survive.

Amidst the drama of Fahriji's challenges, Basholli details how Fahriji's dream became a reality in her narrative HIVE.