Passport Series 2017
The Ornithologist / O Ornitólogo (Portugal)
After capsizing his kayak while searching for black storks in stunning, remote, and mountainous northern Portugal, Fernando (French actor Paul Hamy, but voiced by director João Pedro Rodrigues) is captured by two female Chinese hikers who have gotten very, very lost on their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. After escaping from their bondage, Fernando plunges through the primeval forest. Very, very loosely based off the biography of St. Anthony, born Fernando Martins de Bulhões and the patron saint of Portugal, this playful and enigmatic film delivers Rodrigues' queer vision as never seen before, leaving us with a triumphant transformation, a fantastical fleshy experience, and a bird's-eye-view rumination on the joy and wonder of watching films.
"Mr. Rodrigues opens up a world like a scroll as he shifts from realism to the fantastical and then the allegorical; pauses to meditate on the beauty of the world; and insists on the fusion of the spirit and the flesh. I can't wait to see it again." (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)
"If this sounds terribly serious, think again: The Ornithologist is deliciously subversive and genuinely funny." (Jay Weissberg, Variety)