I agree with Martin's comments below, below
having seen it in Canberra today. There was not a lot that would be new in
concept to anyone who has watched many wildlife films before or has much birding
experience. The filming was excellent and artistic though both cute and gruesome
at times. The choice of subject shows an inordinate fondness for northern
hemisphere geese, swans, storks, cranes and the like. Maybe they think that
people are only interested in big birds or they could only film big birds. I
wished they had shown really amazing things like the tiny hummingbirds that fly
over the ocean between the Americas, not to mention the many other small land
birds that cover huge distances, that were ignored in film, feats that seem the
more amazing than those done by geese etc. that have rest stops on the way. What
about the raptors that migrate over Israel and hawk mountain in the USA? These
would hardly have been difficult to film. The only small birds shown migrating
were waders and it was only mentioned that they go from Europe to west Africa!
It was at times sentimental, although everything
shown looked very real. People who don't know anything about it could leave the
theatre with a heightened conservation awareness, which is good. They could also
be a bit confused. There is a scene of a nestling cuckoo pushing an egg out of a
nest (of a Reed Warbler or similar). There was no caption explaining what was
happening and it would surely leave many non birder viewers wondering what was
that about? Geographical descriptors in the captions were vague (as in what is
meant by the near east and the far east, etc. and does that mean the same to an
Australian, and African and a European)?
The introduction stated that birds migrate one
way in autumn and return the same route in spring. I don't know why that point
was made. It is well known that many species do not reverse the same route
travelling back but return a different way. It also suggested (at least in
geese) that first year birds learn the route by flying with their parents. This
clearly is not the case for many birds.
Background music was mostly tedious and annoying
but then it would be hard to chose something that would be appropriate.
Overall pretty good with great scenery.
Friday, 20 June 2003 12:14
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Review -
For those who haven't seen this
movie (now showing in Melbourne), I offer
the following 'snapshot review'
after seeing it last night with about 290+
other Birds Australia/Bird
Observers Club members.
Venue: Rivoli Theatre Camberwell
Subjects: mostly northern hemisphere birds, particularly
Cinematography: superb aerial shots from balloons, ultra light
Soundtrack: English (but with a French accent).
Volume, far too loud.
Some of the music and songs seemed inappropriate
for the subject matter.
Recommendation: a good wildlife/bird movie,
well worth seeing but don't
expect any 'Australian' birds, other than
possibly some of the albatrosses
Well organised by
the Vicgroup section of Birds Australia, with sparkling
wine and club
sandwiches following the movie and even a BA 'show bag' to
Profits to Broome Bird Observatory, Western