Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Le Peuple Migrateur
France/Italy/Germany/Spain/Switzerland, 2001. Galatée Films, France 2 Cinéma, France 3 Cinéma, Les Productions de la Guéville, Bac Films, Canal+, Pandora Filmproduktion, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Les Productions JMH, Télévision Suisse-Romande, Wanda Visión S.A., Eyescreen S.r.l., Liliane Bettencourt au Nom de la Bettencourt Schuller, Crédit Agricole, Primagaz, Conseil Général de l’Aveyron, Conseil Régional du Languedoc-Roussillon, Conseil Régional du Calvados, Conseil Régional de Basse Normandie, Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté, Conseil Régional de la Lozère, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Commission Européenne, Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l’Europe, Procirep, La Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma. Screenplay by Jean Dorst, Stephane Durand, Guy Jarry, Jacques Perrin, Francis Roux, based on an idea by Valentine Marvel. Cinematography by Olli Barbe, Michel Benjamin, Sylvie Carcedo, Laurent Charbonnier, Luc Drion, Laurent Fleutot, Philippe Garguil, Dominique Gentil, Bernard Lutic, Thierry Machado, Stephane Martin, Fabrice Moindrot, Ernst Sasse, Michel Terrasse, Thierry Thomas. Produced by Christophe Barratier, Jacques Perrin. Music by Bruno Coulais. Production Design by Regis Nicolino. Film Editing by Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte.
Filmmaker, actor and producer Jacques Perrin (Microcosmos, Z) spent four years with his film crew tracking the migratory patterns of all manner of species of birds around the world. The result is this breathtaking documentary, one which captures the full beauty of these majestic creatures as they follow their instincts back and forth around the world in search of food, survival and renewal of life. Perrin manages to get some extremely impressive shots of the very charismatic animals in flight (including stunning close-ups) while also getting terrific footage of them on land as they feed their young and engage in all manner of activities. The script could have done with some more information from the voice-over narrative about some of the ritualistic behavior that is described, as most audience members will not be experienced ornithologists. All the same, it’s a powerful and moving experience featuring creatures who have a terrific time clowning around for the camera.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Documentary Feature
European Film Award Nomination: Best European Documentary
Toronto International Film Festival: 2001