Bitter Honey is a feature-length documentary presenting an intimate and emotionally charged portrait of three polygamous families in Bali, Indonesia. Following these families over a seven year period, the film portrays the plight of Balinese co-wives, for whom marriage is frequently characterized by psychological manipulation, infidelity, domestic violence, and economic hardship.
Living in a society where men have authority in many domains, these women have little voice in steering or protesting the conditions of their domestic lives. Bitter Honey draws attention to their struggle, documents the work of those taking steps to better protect and empower them, and aims to trigger a wider conversation about contemporary polygamy and women’s rights in Indonesia.
The film is produced by Elemental Productions, a documentary film production company based in Los Angeles that is dedicated to making documentary films on social and cultural issues in Southeast Asia and the United States. The company was founded in 2007 by anthropologist Robert Lemelson, and evolved out of years of fieldwork and thousands of hours of footage gathered in 1997. For more information please visit the official page at bitterhoneyfilm.com.