by Jim Ridley
Queen of the Sun
Where: The Belcourt
When: 7 p.m. Friday, June 3; runs through June 9
As if the Aughts needed more apocalyptic concerns, the phenomenon of colony collapse disorder — the sudden vanishing of worker bees from honeybee colonies, leading to unhatched young and abandoned hives — brought new worries to global farmers and food producers. “Eh, I never liked honey,” you say — but not having sufficient stash of Winnie the Pooh’s finest isn’t really the problem. The problem is that through pollination, bees make 40 percent of the earth’s food supply possible, and their mass disappearance could spell global catastrophe.
In his documentary, a popular entry at the 2010 Nashville Film Festival, filmmaker Taggart Siegel (The Real Dirt on Farmer John) enlists lush beekeeping footage, archival clips that trace the encroachment of monoculture, and sources such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan to address the crisis. But the doc’s biggest draw is its tiny subject, shown here in undulating waves and flurries of intent activity that suggest nature’s underlying grace and mystery. The movie deserves its buzz.
That includes tonight's show at The Belcourt, where a post-film panel including "The Barefoot Farmer" Jeff Poppen of Long Hungry Creek Farm, Nashville Area Beekeepers Association president Paul Campanis and Nashville Urban Harvest co-founder Sara Bellos (a third-season beekeeper) will discuss the film. Amanda Hagood, a visiting assistant professor of English and environmental studies at Hendrix College who works with Nashville Urban Harvest, will moderate.
Then, at 6 p.m. Sunday following the 4:05 screening, Sylvan Park's beloved Miel will offer a special three-course light meal incorporating local honey into the dishes (with an actual local beekeeper in attendance) for $30. The menu consists of Lavender Honey Pickled Peaches with Miel farm greens and honey roasted peanuts; Sequatchie Cove Pork Shoulder
braised in Meade with swiss chard, turnips and bee pollen dumplings; and for dessert, Noble Springs Goat Cheese with a sampling of honey ice cream, black pepper shortbread and apricots roasted with local honey.
If you've got the money, honey, call 298-3663 for reservations — or click here.