Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #1

To begin my second year in the International Affairs Scholars Program, I attended the Global Engagement Film Night on Wednesday, August 28th from 7-9PM.  I went to a showing of Honeyland, a Turkish documentary drama at the Gateway Film Center. This event fulfilled the academic requirement.

The documentary mainly focused on a female beekeeper that takes care of her mother and also tries to preserve the area around her. Her efforts are disrupted by a family that settles near her and has no regard for the effects of human behaviors and the environment. The film as a whole demonstrates how we as humans interact with natural resources and our considerations for others (or lack of it).

Coming in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I typically enjoy documentaries but I was interested to see how I would like one strictly based on the visuals. The family that came to the area seemed to have good intentions but were easily persuaded by the businessman to produce more honey which ended up killing them all. Everything is only good in moderation and by taking more when they shouldn’t have, the balance was set off. It really opened my eyes to the impact that small changes can have on the living things in our world. I previously knew some things about beekeeping but it was interesting to see the similarities and differences of how it is done around the world.

This event relates to the topic of International Affairs because of the different perspective that the film provided and the sheer impact of seeing what happens around the world. Changes made to the environment affect the entire world. We need to work together with other nations to ensure that our economic efforts are not ruining the balance in nature. We need to make sure that we are not overharvesting resources because it will kill other organisms in the process.

This topic relates to my potential minor in Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability as I am really interested in the different dimensions of work in this area and what we can do as individuals to preserve our planet. Humans are very greedy and profit-driven so it is important to remember the long-lasting impact that our actions have on wildlife and the world as a whole. As a business major, I feel that this could be useful in the field to remind people that money is not the most important thing in the world and that we need to consider the consequences of our actions.

After the documentary ended,  I had numerous questions pertaining to the storyline. Films like this always leave lots of room for interpretation and allow you to figure out how you would like to act after processing the information. Specifically related to the woman, I would like to know how she dealt with the death of her mother and what she did following the loss of the one person that was very important to her. I wonder if she eventually moved to the city or continued living in her village. I am also interested in how the makers of the documentary were able to film while witnessing some awful things occurring.

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