20.000 Especies de Abejas (20.000 Species of Bees) shows that language can be everything. Especially for eight-year-old Aitor, who is spending a summer in the Basque Country with his mother. There is no masculine or feminine word gender in Basque, which suits Aitor - also called Cocó - well. Aitor doesn't feel like Aitor or Cocó at all, but he doesn't know how he feels.
The eight-year-old confides these doubts to mother, grandmother and friends, but not everyone knows how to deal with them well. How can a mother deal with her child's search for identity if she still has to deal with her own ambivalent upbringing?
This Spanish gem is a calm and delicate coming-of-age film in line with the work of directors such as Lukas Dhont (Girl) and Céline Sciamma (Tomboy). Lead actor Sofía Otero (9 years old) was the youngest winner of the Silver Bear for best acting performance during the Berlinale last February.
The movie has English subtitles and a 15 minute intermission.