Drunken Birds

Les Oiseaux ivres

True North

When Willy (Jorge Antonio Guerrero), a Mexican cartel henchman, falls for Marlena (Yoshira Escárrega), his boss’ wife, the star-crossed lovers find themselves in the crosshairs, leaving them no other recourse than parting ways and going to ground. Convinced that Marlena is secreted away somewhere in Montreal, Willy becomes a migrant worker at a Quebec farm. But his efforts to track down Marlena are impeded when he becomes embroiled in the indiscretions of the dysfunctional family who are employing him.

Employing an intricate narrative structure, Ivan Grbovic examines how supposedly new beginnings often run afoul of cycles of exploitation. In partnership with cinematographer/co-writer Sara Mishara, Grbovic crafts a resplendent film that unfurls a succession of visually arresting sequences that recall the rugged, romantic poetry of Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. The ever-roaming camera’s inquisitiveness is infectious, drawing us into a quest that pits these lovers against forces of globalization and discrimination. Impressionistic yet immediate, The Drunken Birds is exhilarating cinema.

Director Icon Director
Ivan Grbovic

Jorge Antonio Guerrero, Hélène Florent, Claude Legault, Marine Johnson, Maxime Du Montier, Amaryllis Tremblay, Yoshira Escárrega
Producer Kim McCraw, Luc Déry
Screenwriter Sara Mishara, Ivan Grbovic
Cinematographer Sara Mishara
Editor Arthur Tarnowski
Music Philippe Brault
Art Director Andrée-Line Beauparlant
Production Company micro_scope
Contact Les Films d#39Opale
Canada 2021 105 min. In Spanish and French
Presented by
Media Partners


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Grbovic-Ivan headshot


Ivan Grbovic was born in Montreal to Serbian parents. After a Masters in Cinematography at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, Grbovic started his career as a DOP shooting music videos and commercials, but always had his eye on directing. All his films have been featured at the Toronto International Film Festival, which include three short films, and his first feature film, Roméo Eleven (2011), which received the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The Drunken Birds is his second feature.

Roméo Eleven (2011)