“When you have strong female characters, I think a lot of people think they have to be vulnerable or they have to be weak,” Moss said. “But obviously, with this being based on a real woman, you have to follow the real narrative.”
Screenwriter-Director Blerta Basholli recently debuted her feature film with “Hive, ” Tells the true story of Fahrije Hoti, a Balkan woman who started producing and selling a red chili orchid as a way to hire widows in her troubled village. The film has attracted a lot of fans after it premiered in Sundance in 2021, including Elisabeth Moss. The “Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” star said she had seen the film several times and was so impressed by the story, that she joined the film as an executive producer.
Moss recently sat down with Basholli to chat about the artistic choices needed to make a compelling film based on a true story, and IndieWire is happy to feature the entire conversation.
Basholli says that she has always been drawn to Hoti’s story, and that her admiration for her only grows as they spend time together. Once you know Hoti, it’s never a matter of whether she makes a movie about her, but simply deciding which angle to use. “I always said that I could make more movies about her,” said Basholli. “And that’s the biggest decision to make when you’re basing a movie on a true story. Because how do you make a sci-fi, not a documentary, and then still center the story around someone you admire so much? ”
Moss praised the film’s unrepentant portrayal of the strong female protagonist, as well as Basholli’s refusal to unnecessarily soften the character. “When you have strong female characters, I think a lot of people think they have to be vulnerable or they have to be weak or they have to grow to that extent,” she said. “But obviously, with a movie based on a real woman, you have to stick to the true story. And I agree, she is clearly a very special person to be able to have the journey of a lifetime like she did.”
Basholli knows she can only cover so many aspects of Hoti’s incredible life, but she hopes that the stories she chooses will help build a legacy for a widowed businessman. “I’m just really trying to recall what impressed me the most about her, and what would impress the audience, and that’s her success story. The story of her strength, how she creates and sustains a community of women who can easily be separated, and possibly even driven insane by so much suffering,” she said. “And then just really always waiting for someone to help her.”
The filmmaker added, “In many ways, she did such amazing things. I don’t know if she is aware of the extent of the good she is doing.”
See the full conversation between Moss and Basholli, exclusive to IndieWire, below.
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/hive-movie-blerta-basholli-elisabeth-moss-interview-1234695207/ Elisabeth Moss Interviews ‘Hive’ Director Blerta Basholli