Canadian Film Fest 2019 Review: “Honey Bee” (2019) ★★★


It so happens that “Honey Bee” is the third movie I’ve watched since last week that talks about human trafficking. But this time the story takes place in Canada. And the fact that human trafficking can happen in any part of the world so openly is terrifying. Especially when underage children are sent out to please adults, and not even a single person calls the police to report the incident but instead take advantage of their fear and vulnerability.

“Honey Bee” follows the journey of an underage truck-stop prostitute named Natalie or Honey Bee that knows nothing else other than fulfilling the demands of her abusive boyfriend, Ryan (Steven Love) and her “everyday clients”. As she, without even realizing, became a victim of the sex trafficking ring, the young girl begins life from a different angle after being caught by the police and sent to another foster home, this time located in Sudbury.

Portrayed by the exceptionally talented Julia Stone, we get a chance to learn more about Natalie, how she was abandoned by her mother at a library when she was just six, her loyalty to Ryan, and refusal to believe that he could be evil. When she was sent to the farm, Natalie begins acting boldly against her new foster mother, Louise (Martha Plimpton), and would keep offending Chante (Michelle McLeod), the girl who has lost count of moving from one foster home to another.

It takes some time to like Natalie. And not because we do not understand her situation – not at all. Her aim was to ensure the whole world will despise her, because of her dislikeness of the world that has given her nothing good to love for. But at some point, she begins changing, but that won’t happen until she faces another challenge of life. And soon life has the chance to show her that she can be nothing and nobody as she finds herself in the hands of an individual who will do everything possible to degrade her as an individual.

Written by Bonnie Fairweather and Kathleen Hepburn, and directed by Rama Ramu, “Honey Bee” is a decent drama about the struggles of underage children when they’re left alone in this harsh world. What’s been touched upon in the film occurs in real life. The film itself does not try to get to all the dark details of what may happen behind closed doors, it rather concentrates on what happens to Natalie when she ends up in a place that really cared about her welfare where you, as a viewer, will be eager to follow her journey from the start to the end with high regards.

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