Dir: Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren | Spain, Drama 128′
Can a child as young as eight have strong sexual feelings, and trans ones into the bargain? That’s what Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren explores in her impressive first feature.
Assertive and entirely sure of herself Aitor, who calls herself Lucia in defiance of the male name assigned to her at birtH, is certainly a force of nature, brilliantly played by Sofía Otero in her debut. But her mother Ane (Patricia Lopez Arnaiz), a sculptor who is going through a crisis of her own, prefers to call her Coco because she finds it difficult to see her son as a girl.
20,000 Species of Bees is a delicate slow-burn coming of age drama that traces this morally complex mother child relationship as it gradually develops one summer in the Basque Country. Ane’s own mother Lita (Itziar Lazkano) plays the disapproving traditional role of reason. So it falls upon the girl’s aunt Lourdes (Ane Gabarian), whose skill as a beekeeper gives this limpid tale of female empowerment its title, to allow her niece to be herself without judgement or admonishment. MT
IN UK CINEMAS FROM 27 OCTOBER 2023