João Pedro Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist got a fair amount of attention at film festivals, mesmerising many (and winning awards in the process), while rather perplexing others. However, a film inspired by the wanderings of St. Anthony of Padua and from a director not well known for making particularly accessible movies, isn’t likely to be straightforward.
The Ornithologist of the title is Fernando, who is out on his own in the wilds looking for black storks. After his kayak is caught in the rapids and destroyed, he is rescued by two young, Chinese women who are on a pilgrimage. However, his rescuers soon reveal a darker side, with Fernando ending up in his underwear tied to a tree. [Read more…]