THE ORNITHOLOGIST

France / Portugal / Brazil, 2016 (MIFF 2017, International,Europe)

Director: João Pedro Rodrigues

THE ORNITHOLOGIST

João Pedro Rodrigues won the Best Director prize at Locarno for this playful, homoerotic and decidedly unconventional Catholic parable.

Losing control of his kayak in North Portuguese rapids, a birdwatcher wakes up in a forest, tended to and then tied up by a pair of Chinese women on a pilgrimage. From here, he encounters a series of ever more bizarre and fantastical situations – a goatherd with a penchant for skinny-dipping; masked demons conducting a pagan ritual; and a posse of Amazon women wielding shotguns – that take him ever closer to spiritual fulfilment.

Inspired by the mediaeval journeys of Saint Anthony of Padua, this film by João Pedro Rodrigues (The Last Time I Saw Macao, MIFF 2013) is a surreal, genre-hopping delight; one that deftly blends queer sensuality with Christian allegory.

'How it would look if Alain Guiraudie and David Lynch got together to remake Buñuel's The Milky Way.' – Film Comment


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