Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Winged Migration

I saw this film last night. I have been wanting to see it for weeks, since I first heard of it, and I knew I wanted to see it on "the big screen". Both Dorothy and Karen were interested in going but we were unable to get together on the same night, and Paul is still recovering from whatever got him, so I was happy to take it in alone.

It's a fabulous film, amazing, beautiful, disturbing in small spots. It not only follows all kinds of birds all over the world migrating north and then south, but it picks them up in the details, when they dive in the ocean to grab some fish, when they get stuck in the oily mud of an industrial area, when they mate - wonderful dances - when they are suddenly scared by thundering hooves of wild horses, when they are shot by hunters. It follows the birth of their young, the little ones trying to make their way, the trip back south. The sounds!! The thunder of thousands of birds calling to each other, the individual calls and responses, the calls for help or for love.

No special effects, just amazing photography by many photographers in many countries using many different types of air machines. The list of credits at the end is impressive by itself, including wildlife organizations, state organizations, city bureaus, individuals, who offered assistance and knowledge and permission. The music was original, varied according to the situation, was performed by many different musicians, including one I recognized and enjoy, Nick Cave. It enhanced, did not overpower. Narration is limited to brief descriptions of what the birds now are doing. Subtitles give names of birds and how far the travel. The arctic...what...? One artic bird travels from pole to pole, 12,500 miles!

I did not know that the American Bald Eagle migrates. It appears that migrating birds are the larger ones, perhaps because the long distances require the ability to travel without food (esp over the ocean) for long periods, and a larger bird can store more food? Or maybe just because smaller birds can make do somehow, can hide better, find food, wherever they are.

One particularly poignant moment came when geese were flying over a coop, domesticated geese penned below. The domesticated birds called out to the ones in the sky, the sky birds swooped down low to look, perhaps to invite, calling to them, then continued on when they could not get through the fencing on top. The last view is of one of the domestic birds looking after the flock, and to me there was clearly an expression of longing in his eyes and desperation in his voice.

I think anyone who has looked up to see a bird or hear one and smiled would love this film. I am so delighted that it is such a success, so widely distributed and praised. It is so beautiful.

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