Films & Schedules

  • The Secret Life of Bees

  • Gina Prince-Bythewood

110 minutes

Production Company:
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Executive Producer:
Jada Pinkett Smith
Lauren Shuler Donner, James Lassiter, Will Smith, Joe Pichirallo
Gina Prince-Bythewood, based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd
Production Designer:
Warren Alan Young
Rogier Stoffers
Terilyn A. Shropshire
Mark Isham
Principal Cast: Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds, Hilarie Burton, Paul Bettany

US Distributor:
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Friday September 0506:30PM ROY THOMSON HALL Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Sunday September 0712:00PM ISABEL BADER THEATRE Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Dakota Fanning (I Am Sam, Charlotte's Web) fronts a stellar ensemble cast in this moving adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's bestselling novel that chronicles a young girl's powerful healing journey during a defining moment in American history.

Set in South Carolina in 1964, when the American civil rights movement was finding its strongest voice, The Secret Life of Bees stars the luminous Fanning as Lily Owens, a fragile adolescent who has never recovered from her mother's violent death. She lives a lonely life on a peach farm with her volatile father (Paul Bettany, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code), where her only companion is her caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls, Sex and the City). She and Rosaleen decide to flee the farm and embark on a journey to a nearby town, where Lily hopes to unearth the secrets of her past and recover some memory of her mother's life.

The two friends are taken in by the remarkable Boatwright sisters, played by Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo. While under their protective care, Lily and Rosaleen are made privy to their secret world of beekeeping – and discover the realm of kindness and redemption that has eluded them.

Gina Prince-Bythewood directs The Secret Life of Bees with a sensitivity to the complex racial currents at play, but she devotes even greater care to shading the relationships that form among the makeshift family living in the Boatwright house – a sanctuary from the harsh world that surrounds them. Fanning is especially remarkable here, making that rare transition from popular child star to confident, maturing actor. Less a fairy tale than a story of adventure and self-discovery, The Secret Life of Bees reveals how friendship, love and generosity can heal even the deepest of wounds.

Gina Prince-Bythewood graduated in film from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked as a writer and director on numerous television series, and directed the short films Stitches (91), Damn Whitey (97), Bowl of Pork (97) and Progress (97). Her feature films are Love & Basketball (00) and The Secret Life of Bees (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award