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Föreningen Film i Malmö presents
Although much of this film features birds in the wild, most (but not all) of the incredible in-flight photography starred a variety of imprinted birds. These geese, swan and pelicans, raised from birth by the filmmakers, were transported to migratory routes and habitats around the globe to “perform” as if they were actors. Indeed they were!
Some have criticized this approach as somehow undermining the film’s credibility. But notwithstanding the film’s official classification, Perrin himself doesn’t consider his masterpiece as a documentary, but rather an homage to these beautiful creatures. The end result speaks for itself. Winged Migration was simply the most awe-inspiring piece of cinematography I have ever witnessed.
The production itself, documented in the nearly one-hour ‘making of’ featurette, was a monumental achievement against any yardstick. Perrin and his five crews shot more than 400 kilometers of film (240 hours) on location in forty countries and all seven continents. His team endured the hardships of nature (Hurricane Floyd, blizzards, heat, etc.) and the dangers of flying machines (seven crashes). In order to capture those incredible in-flight sequences, the filmmakers used just about every moving platform one can imagine… from trucks to remote-controlled ATV’s, from speedboats to a Navy battleship, from ultralights to powered parachutes, and from gliders to hot-air balloons. Whatever it took.
And finally, Bruno Coulais’ moving orchestral score provided the perfect emotional pitch for the cinematography without being overly manipulative. Folks who enjoy new-age genre (think Enya meets Chris Franke) will want to own the soundtrack. It can easily stand on its own.
Winged Migration is a rare movie. And for me, a spiritual experience. (Excerpt by