Donít let anyone tell you that WINGED MIGRATION is a documentary about birds. This isnít a high-school biology course. This isnít something you watch on the Discovery Channel. Winged Migration isnít about birds. WINGED MIGRATION is about being a bird. In some magical feat of cinematic brilliance, the directors (Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats, and Jacques Perrin) take you into the perspective of migratory birds. If youíve ever had a dream about flying through the open sky, this is that dream.
As the film opens, a disclaimer states that no special effects were used for the filming; then it succeeds in making you gawk in absolute disbelief. You arenít a person watching birds fly. You are a bird. You are in the driverís seat, soaring hundreds of miles above canyonous mountain ranges, racing along at breathtaking speeds, skimming across rivers so wide they look like lakes. You are traveling from the cold barren reaches of the Artic, of Siberia, Antarctica, and vacationing in the vast deserts of Mexico, the coast of Africa, the Far East, South America, Australia, New York. Suddenly you begin to realize how different the world really is, despite the small world faÁade that technology creates. From the elegant, graceful cranes of China, to the unbelievably massive flocks of West Coast sea gulls, you begin to take note in their relation to their human counterparts. You begin to realize that these birds share the same world; the same climates, the same food, the same problems, and you see how their presence has made an impact on the lives and cultures of people all over the world. You begin to realize that you will never see birds the same way again.
By the end of the film, you seriously begin to wonder if there is anything better than being a bird. The freedom of the open sky. The simplicity of nature. The movie is humbling in a way that makes you grateful to live in such a magnificent world. It puts your own life and purpose into some grand perspective. How many movies can claim that?
Even if you hate documentaries and slept through high school, as long as youíve an inkling of desire to experience that dream of flying in the most visceral, personal sense, go see WINGED MIGRATION, but donít even bother watching it on DVD. WINGED MIGRATION is one of those few movies a year that can only be experienced on the big screen, and itís an experience you wonít soon forget. filmjerk.com