Film Archive

When I Am a Bird

Documentary Film
Poland
2013
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Katarzyna Ślesicka
Monika Pawluczuk
Paweł Chorzępa
Marcin Latanik
Monika Pawluczuk
Dariusz Wancerz
She would like to return as a little bird in the next life, small enough to hide. Right now she still lives in a bird cage, at the mercy of the whims of a fate that transported her and her family from Myanmar to a refugee village in the Thai jungle. The rain drums ceaselessly on the roof. The torrential river in front of the house is as powerful as the suppressed feelings of a woman who gave birth to 12 children and lost some of them. She hasn’t chosen her husband; moreover, he sometimes flies away. Now she only hopes that her daughter will follow. Bad connections often thwart attempts to contact her by phone or receive messages via the wireless. From the outside the members of the Kayan tribe, especially the women with their heavy necklaces, look like rare specimens of a dying species you can admire in tourist show villages. But the film reveals a world no tourist ever sees. In a clear visual language that is both atmospheric and symbolic it carefully approaches the interior reality of the protagonist, withholding any prerogative interpretation. Who can look into a person’s soul, after all? And yet the strength, courage – and magic – that it takes to live this life emerge clearly.

Lars Meyer