The Ornithologist

(O Ornitólogo)
Portugal/France/Brazil 2016. Dir: João Pedro Rodrigues. 118 min. DCP

“A masterpiece ... An extraordinarily rich, unpredictable fever dream ... Look out for it.”

EXCLUSIVE FIRST RUN! | The poetic, provocative fifth feature of Portuguese filmmaker (and former ornithologist) João Pedro Rodrigues is a stunner. Kayaking a remote river fjord in search of a rare black stork, ornithologist Fernando (French actor Paul Hamy) is swept away over rapids and lost in the wilderness. Thus begins a strange, mythic odyssey that reimagines the story of St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of lost things and missing people, as a modern-day parable of spiritual and sexual self-discovery. As Fernando encounters off-course Chinese pilgrims, naked Amazonian horsewomen, and a queer shepherd named Jesus, Rodrigues pushes the boundaries and breaks conventions, genres, and taboos. This deeply beautiful, deeply mysterious work, shot in widescreen by Rui Poças, earned Rodrigues the best director prize at Locarno.



“The single most delightful and adventurous movie I saw at TIFF 2016 ... I can’t wait to see it again.”

New York Times | full review

“Calling to mind the best of Luis Buñuel and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, The Ornithologist adopts a dream logic that never begs for decoding, a sensuous engagement with the world that asks only to be experienced.”

Film Comment | full review