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Trailer: Anna Paquin stars in melancholy drama 'Tell It To The Bees', set in a town too small for secrets


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Dr Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) returns to the town she left as a teenager to take over her late father’s medical practice. When a playground fight brings Charlie (Gregor Selkirk) to her surgery, she invites him to visit the hives in her garden and tell his secrets to the bees, as she once did.

Tell It To The Bees film poster, courtesy of Premier

The friendship between the boy and the beekeeper brings his mother Lydia (Holliday Grainger) into Jean’s world. Abandoned by her husband, Lydia and Charlie find sanctuary and security in the doctor’s house. Charlie develops an interest in the natural world and the two women find themselves drawn to one another and a romantic relationship develops.

The story is told through the eyes of the child Charlie; the story unfolds over what appears to be one of those summers when everything changes. The drab backdrop of 1950s Scotland clearly indicates the struggle and oppression of a century where respectability is everything. The contradiction of the bees, and focus on the natural world, shows a glimmer of freedom the two women hope to have in their romantic endeavour.

Lydia's ex-husband takes an interest in his abandoned wife and child as the trailer hurtles the audience towards a dramatic cliff hanger. With a multi-stranded narrative, sensitive Charlie is shouted at and told to be a "man" whilst also trying to protect his mother, leaving us worried as to what fate lies before him.

The themes of oppression, growing up and sexuality aren’t new, nor is the idea of telling secrets to bees, but the trailer suggests their depiction will reflect the bigger picture of an era where the slightest transgression could be met by the harshest of punishments.

Tell It To The Bees will be released in UK cinemas on July 19th. Watch the trailer now.

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