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The Metamorphosis of Birds

A metamorfose dos pássaros

Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema

A mother cares for her children at home, and she watches them and the world around them change too quickly. Their father spends his life at sea, and the faces in their photographs and the world around him change far too little. The longing, textures, and mortal anxieties of these two lives are only the first cycle of this multigenerational tale, where elliptical recreations and passionate empathy define writer-director Catarina Vasconcelos’s delicately rapturous exploration of her family’s past.

The emotionally complex, resplendent prose of the voiceover intertwines with endlessly evocative and beautifully composed 16mm images to animate and furnish a history that can only be known in fragments, suggesting that much of our lives’ meanings is formed in the inventions and embellishments filling the space between those fragments. Vasconcelos’s unforgettable invocation of the familial cycles of life and death offers both uncommonly intimate portraits of its characters and an astonishing contemplative scope.

"A bold, inventive family saga told through a poetic documentary essay." - Jonathan Romney, Screen International

FIPRESCI Encounters Prize, Berlin 20

Canadian premiere
Director Icon Director
Catarina Vasconcelos

Manuel Rosa, João Móra, Ana Vasconcelos, Zé Maria Rosa, Henrique Móra
Producer Pedro Fernandes Duarte, Joana Gusmão
Screenwriter Catarina Vasconcelos
Cinematographer Paulo Menezes
Editor Francisco Moreira
Production Company Primeira Idade
Source Portugal Film
Portugal 2020 101 min. Portuguese with English subtitles Interview | Review | Trailer


Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.

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