Breasts lifted, bottom tight, feathers smoothed. She is ready for her date. But her daughter clings and refuses to let her go to this as yet incomprehensible, repulsive ritual of desire. Very soon the fully-fledged adolescent will indulge in sexual lust herself … and experience disappointments. In the conflicted world of the two women, men evade partnership and fatherhood. The faithful bitch offers the only support.
As in her previous film, Carla Melo Gampert transfers her impressive but uncompromising analysis of family relationships to the lives of wading birds. Human traits show through in the anatomy, but the bird’s bodies including their feathers and sounds lend themselves perfectly to the apt exaggeration of emotions. Delicate strokes turn into cuttingly sharp movement lines of the animal characters, both in their erotically crude acts of love and their “hands-on” disputes. Soft splashes of watercolour glow incandescently in the heat of lust and warningly in the hopeless fury.