Sting Like a Bee

Leone Balduzzi & Leone Balduzzi / Italy / 2023

A warmhearted and beautiful hybrid film about a group of Italian teenagers flirting their way through the summer on their three-wheeled, self-styled Piaggio Ape mopeds. Love, sex and young dreams come together in a film-within-the-film about the young heroes.

In the Trigno Valley in central Italy, the young people cultivate their own home-styled subculture around the Piaggio Ape three-wheeled moped. Ape means bee in Italian, and over the course of a summer, the film crew buzzes around the teenagers and starts casting them for a film about their own lives. Slowly, reality begins to merge with fiction, allowing the Italian youths to dream and become the voices of their own lives, where unity, love, sexuality – and of course, Piaggio Ape – take centre stage. In beautiful images shot on analogue film, ‘Sting like a Bee’ evolves into a warm, loving and souped-up study of a group of young daydreamers trapped in an Italian nowhere land, who find freedom and a common sanctuary in their passion for the three-wheeled moped. A film that hovers somewhere between ‘Pimp My Ride’ and Pier Paolo Pasolini.