Burt’s Buzz is a 2013 documentary, which explores the life of the co-founder of the Burt’s Bees brand, Burt Shavitz. The documentary explores the mindset of the man, who seems to be disgruntled and upset about his current state. We learn a lot about the man’s mindset, political thoughts and general ideologies.
Midway through the film, we finally get to explore the career, which made Burt famous. He speaks about his bees and how he came to be a bee farmer. After his photojournalism career fell through, he began farming his own honey and selling it beside the roadway. Eventually, he has a life-changing run in with Roxanne Quimby.
Eventually, the pair build and develop the brand, which transforms into a massively successful entity. Of course, a good thing wasn’t going to last for the pair. After a conflict, which is basically hidden from the film, the company moves to North Carolina, before the company is sold for a massive sum of money to the Clorox company.
Instead of participating in the film, Roxanne sent her son to answer questions, which leaves a lot to be desired. Despite no longer owning the company, Burt continues to work as a company spokesperson and fulfills his duties in a begrudgingly manner.
All in all, Burt’s Buzz relies heavily on Burt Shavitz to be a successful documentary. The problem lies with Burt, who certainly has an interesting story, but a dull personality. Although the documentary doesn’t explore the facts surrounding the company’s fallout, it is still difficult to sympathize with Burt.
Ultimately, the film is hurt by the lack of answers or even exploration of Burt’s conflict with Roxanne. The film could’ve been so much more. Instead, it plays like a scorned man preaching from his soapbox. On the other hand, Burt comes off as a hypocrite, who preaches on things and does another, which makes the film unbearable at times. For that, the film deserves a 5.5 out of 10.