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By Phil Hall | January 23, 2008

“B for Beekeeper,” a student film booked for the Slamdance Film Festival, is a short visit to a man who survived a near-death experience and gained a new appreciation on life. In this case, it was literally a baptism by fire – the man barely escaped from a Detroit house inferno, and he later relocated to North Carolina to begin a new career as a beekeeper and honey entrepreneur.

It’s an interesting story, to be certain, as the man views the world of bees from a deeply religious perspective (he reminds us about the Biblical passage relating to the “land of milk and honey”). There are also plenty of wonderful close-ups of the bees at work in the their hives.

Strangely, we don’t learn that the man’s name is Bill Waddell until 10 minutes into this 12-minute short. Why this fact was kept off-screen so long is not clear, and the omission ruins what could’ve been a charming little movie – it’s impossible to watch “B for Beekeeper” without asking yourself: “Who is this guy?” Perhaps the film could be updated so Waddell is properly identified up front, thus allowing us to properly enjoy his fascinating life’s journey.

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