TIFF Kids International Film Festival Review: “Birds of Passage” (2015) ★★★

Birds of Passage (Les Oiseaux de Passage) Credit: Courtesy of TIFF
Birds of Passage (Les Oiseaux de Passage) Credit: Courtesy of TIFF

It is always good to be extra careful each time when you choose a film for your child to watch. The subject the film offers must always be educational in order to teach compassion and to broaden his/her view. Olivier Ringer’s “Bird of Passage” (original title, “Les oiseaux de passage”) is the kind of film every child must see to understand the true meaning of friendship; to love an animal of any kind, and never hesitate to sacrifice time for someone who desperately needs it… More importantly, the example this film provides is undoubtedly something that should be taken into consideration by adults as well.

It’s Cathy’s birthday. Seems like there is no big expectation when it comes to receiving a gift from her father. Even her mum, (Myriem Akkediou) says, “I always get surprised by the imagination of your father. First I laugh, but later, I have only anger”. This was her response to a strange gift Cathy receives: an egg. Her father mentions that, “Whatever hatches from the egg, you, Cathy, must be right there to welcome it, as it will consider your as its Mother.”

Shortly after, a very cute and absolutely adorable duckling hatches from the egg, and the person who it first sees is Margaux, Cathy’s best friend who’s suffering from myopathy. As they both try to study the little bird, the best friends try to do their best to comport a duckling on its way to adapt to a new world. It is also fascinating to see how Margaux, with such terrible disease, manages to gather all available energy she has to dedicate to a little friend, who she considers as its own “child”.

Of course, Margaux realizes that it’s just a matter of accepting a duckling the way it is. But soon, after the incidents occuring in the house, the two friends embark into a dangerous, but in the meantime, very harmless journey to find a bird paradise for duckling. While the police and the parents are in search of the disappeared kids, Margaux and Cathy will be busy enjoying their time together with the best company they possibly could ever get – a duckling. During this journey, the friends will learn many essential things such as solicitude, geniality, kindness, and more importantly, friendship.

In conclusion, “Birds of Passage” is a film oriented for children. With such a soft and tender subject as friendship and love for animals, this film reaches every target it aims. It’s well directed; engaging right from the beginning, making you to believe in miracles. However, this film is not about how one might get cured from myopathy, which I can tell you quite frankly – it won’t happen. But you don’t have to worry about it, as what Margaux finds during her journey is something that helps her to connect with the world better with the help of her friend Cathy, who never considered her “different”.

And that is all this film is about: there is no difference between who to love or who to be friends with: a duckling or a disable person. As long as you have that ability to share your company, understand the importance of friendship and provide your help whenever you can, you will never be in trouble in this world.

For full programming and schedule click here.

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