Working outside the law and under the pseudonym Honey, Irene (Jasmine Trinca) provides “nectar with a sting”, assisting the terminally ill to end their lives with dignity and respect.
Irene’s work pays well, but it is risky. Her routine revolves around travelling to Mexico to obtain the lethal substance and then delivering the goods. To maintain her professional anonymity, personal relationships are kept at arm’s length, leaving details of her insular life open to interpretation and misunderstanding by friends and family, which only serves to magnify her need for isolation.
The procedure of euthanasia is methodical and measured, while the individual circumstances and stories of suffering are tender, touching and filmed with delicate intensity. The use of close-up photography and vivid soundscapes create imagery of a sensual and dramatic nature as Irene, between jobs, finds balance and harmony in the arms of Mother Nature.
Rules, regulations and ethics are put to the test when she meets Carlo Grimaldi, a client who challenges convention, evokes suspicion and intrigue, and ultimately renders a higher understanding from the perspective of his experience. To find honour in the life of another is to find true meaning.
First-time director Valeria Golino delivers a thought-provoking and heart-warming portrayal of the many lives and losses encountered along the pathway of this controversial subject.
While the subject matter generates feelings of discomfort and the content is at times disturbing, Honey (Miele) offers a brilliant account of questioning the value of life and the ever-present human impulse for meaningful connection.
Honey is screening at Palace Nova Eastend on several dates (including today and tomorrow) as part of the Italian Film Festival, which runs until November 11.
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