Near as any contemporary film has come to rendering the Rorschach inkblot test, Mikael Kristersson's Kestrel's Eye takes an expressionless tableau and converts it into a metaphor for labor, language, and the nature of nature itself. Set principally in a church tower overlooking a mild Swedish hinterland, this patiently observed reverie portrays the seasonal conduct of two European falcons as they build shelter, lay eggs, hunt mice, and peep-peep on the preoccupied homo sapiens floundering below. A meditative piece in the lyric tradition, the 86-minute film is distinguished from a Discovery special by its uniquely fowl-minded aesthetic. Via the unaffected soundtrack (no narrator or score) and bird's-eye point of view, the audience viscerally experiences the kestrel's world: an airplane overhead, a car alarm, a scampering cat, and, most strange and unnatural, a village marching band. Courtesy of a motor-equipped hang glider, we even get a sense of the bird's flight. The film's gaze allows us to consider ourselves as wella simultaneity made most poignant when the kestrel's freshly hatched nuclear family perch themselves to watch a human parent assembling a camping tent with his children. The scene accentuates a link between two species of nest-builders, lighting a spark in our eyes, not to mention the kestrel's.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Alex Gibney: Steve Jobs Had the 'Focus of a Monk — Without the Empathy'
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful