Winged Migration

on April 18, 2003 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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Already a sleeper hit in Europe, "Winged Migration" follows the migration of various species of birds through seven continents, 40 countries and every season. A labor of love for Jacques Perrin, who directed, co-wrote, co-produced and narrated the film, it was a tremendous effort, involving more than 450 people, including pilots, who tracked the birds as they flew thousands of miles to their nesting places. As one would expect, some of the captured footage is absolutely stunning, with all the permutations of life and death played out in the often dramatic experiences of these winged wonders. From the unprecedented close-up shots of the birds effortlessly flying through the air to a chilling encounter between a wounded bird and some implacable and hungry crabs, "Winged Migration" inspires awe. But it's also repetitive and formless, and the sappy new-age music and portentous narration is grating. As a result, the film never fully takes flight. Narrated and directed by Jacques Perrin. Written by Stephane Durand and Jacques Perrin. Produced by Christopher Barratier and Jacques Perrin. A Sony Pictures Classics release. Documentary. Rated G. Running time: 91 min
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