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Drunken Birds

Les Oiseaux ivres

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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, Drunken Birds is exhilarating cinema.

By its finale, you get the sense that the go-for-broke Quebecois director is capable of magically conjuring just about any image that might come to his mind, so long as it makes a mark.

Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail

A rewarding and original tale, a love story with a social conscience.

Chris Knight, National Post

Exceptionally crafted with its feet firmly planted between two worlds, Drunken Birds represents the best that is happening in Canadian cinema right now. It challenges us to look at the landscape we love and wonder if it looks so golden from another perspective.

Pat Mullen, That Shelf


Ivan Grbovic


Jorge Antonio Guerrero, Hélène Florent, Claude Legault, Marine Johnson, Maxime Du Montier, Amaryllis Tremblay, Yoshira Escárrega

Country of Origin





In Spanish and French with English subtitles

105 min

Book Tickets

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Kim McCraw, Luc Déry


Sara Mishara, Ivan Grbovic


Sara Mishara


Arthur Tarnowski

Original Music

Philippe Brault

Art Director

Andrée-Line Beauparlant