20.000 Especies de Abejas (20,000 Species Of Bees) - English subtitled

Acclaimed, delicate Spanish coming-of-age film about eight-year-old Aitor who wants to go through life as Lucía from now on. This change does not come without a struggle.

Time & Tickets

An eight-year-old is suffering because people keep addressing the child in ways that cause discomfort. They insist on calling the child by the birth name Aitor. And the nickname, Cocó, even if less obviously wrong, does not feel right either. During a summer in the Basque country, the child confides these worries to relatives and friends. But how can a mother handle her child’s quest for identity when she is herself still dealing with her own ambivalent parental legacy?

Basque director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s debut feature is a sunny drama. This wonderfully sensitive work is carried by heart-wrenching performances from newcomer Sofía Otero as the little girl in search of a name and Patricia López Arnaiz as her conflicted yet loving mother. But, just as a multitude of bees ensure nature’s diversity, supporting roles are no less essential for the film’s heroine, and a largely female environment shows her some of the diverse ways in which it is possible to be a woman. By adopting more than one point of view, Urresola is respecting the incredible complexity that is gender identity, and touching on one perhaps less obvious aspect of transitioning: your mentality.

Sofia Otero won the Silver Bear in Berlin for best leading performance. (source:

Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, Spain, 2023, 129 min. Spanish, Baskisch & French spoken, English subtitles. With Sofía Otero, Patricia López Arnaiz, Ane Gabarain, Itziar Lazkano, Martxelo Rubio.