Megan Paska, a self-described backyard gardener, honey producer, and writer, is passionate about urban beekeeping, which was once illegal but has since been adopted by the sustainable food movement and embraced by the local community. This short sun-saturated documentary is the third in Keith Ehrlich's Made by Hand project, a series of beautifully shot profiles of independent and artisanal businesses in the New York area. This one breaks out of the black and white look of the previous episodes with lovely color cinematography by Joshua Kraszewski (the full credits for the project are here).
In an interview with the Atlantic Video channel, Ehrlich talks about the ongoing project and the value of handmade things:
At its core, "handmade" is a term that represents the relationship between the maker and the user of an item. Handmade often means community. It means that something is made with care or mastering of a craft. In Western society, the appreciation for these skill sets has waned, as we've become over-marketed to and developed new tastes for over-consumption. But there seems to be a growing backlash against this. I believe that making things by hand is in our DNA. It's because of the tools that early man created that any of us are even here today, and it's the key to our future. It's imperative that we hold onto the value of this term "handmade," and not let multinational corporations co-opt it for their needs ...
On the most simple level, the aim of Made by Hand is to tell great stories and inspire other people. Whether it's something as simple as starting a vegetable garden or taking a sewing class, I just want to inspire people to get their hands a little dirty. A group of people with dirty hands becomes a community.