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Le peuple migrateur
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Reviews & Ratings for
Winged Migration More at IMDbPro »Le peuple migrateur (original title)

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40 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

A film of transcendent beauty

Author: ppazniokas from Northern NJ
30 January 2004

A film that's difficult to classify: part nature film, part documentary, part drama. And *completely* beautiful. The makers of this film used every imaginable flying and suspending machine in order to film birds wherever they went. From ultra-light planes to hot air balloons, to hang gliders the camera operators managed to capture what must be the most amazing shots of flying ever filmed. The crew travelled the world to follow birds in migration (and some in their native habitat).

My kids (ages 11 to 15) were transfixed.

To those who say this film lacks "action", I can only express my deep regret that they are so earth-bound as to be unable to let go and soar with some of nature's most wonderful creatures.

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36 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

A magnificent movie experience

Author: Greg ( from Oakville, Ontario
27 November 2003

Watching Jacques Perrin's Winged Migration I felt incredibly cheated. I felt cheated out of the fact that I didn't get the chance to see this remarkable film at my locale theatre where the images would be displayed in a much larger venue.

Winged Migration is an astonishing achievement. With the help of 450 individuals, including 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers, directors Jacques Perrin, Michael Debats and Jacques Cluzaud, bring to life the migrating habits of a variety of birds throughout the world.

We learn of the red-crowned crane that flies 600 miles from the far east to the Siberian taiga, the sandhill crane that flies 2000 miles from the Central American Plains to the Arctic circle, and the bald eagle that flies 1800 miles from the American West to Alaska, just to name a few. But it is how we learn from these creatures that is pure cinematic symphony. The three directors took 4 years to film Winged Migration and used everything from gliders, planes, helicopters and balloons to get close enough to the flying birds that you would actually think you are one of them. The scene of the Canadian Geese migrating is photographed so magnificently through the Grand Canyon that we can see the reflection of the formation on the stilled morning waters without the simplest distraction of man.

Winged Migration is filled with such imagery. Not soon will I forget the greater sage grouse in Idaho where the birds have expanding chests and have tail-feathers that look as sharp as a porcupine's quills. Nor will I soon forget the scenes where millions of king penguins take over a coastal island or the countless birds diving into the water with such rapid fire like a multiple torpedo hit.

What is really amazing however, is how the filmmakers were able to show the birds in such a format as to give them personalities. We see the arrogance of the Canadian Goose, the fighting nature of the red breasted goose, the relentless tenacity of the captured Amazon parrot and the grieving king penguins after one of their young are eaten.

For all its glorious visuals, it is man that brings to the screen the most unnatural and catastrophic of images. Threshers on a farm destroy a habitat, hunters hide in the reeds and shoot down overhead geese and pollution and sludge take the life of a migrating red breast. It is hard to believe that the same species that could get close enough to these birds to follow them hundreds of miles, is also one of their greatest enemies.

Winged Migration should be seen on the large screen, but even on the tiniest of home entertainment units, you cannot help but marvel at the life cycle, the fight for survival and incredible long journey's these creatures embark upon twice a year. Three stars.

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33 out of 36 people found the following review useful:


Author: tigerave from Tulsa, OK
2 February 2004

I really cannot summarize this documentary in one word. I was awe-struck, elated, saddened...this movie has so many emotional experiences in one 90-minute time frame that I am completely overwhelmed by it. The cinematography is so outstanding it is nearly unbelievable. That same cinematography is behind much of the emotional upheaval of this documentary. Some of the vistas and scenery are so breathtaking that you might just find yourself crying from the joy of looking at something so beautiful.

The musical score for this movie is half the experience. I don't think the movie would have been the same at all without it. The movie speaks to your heart, but the music speaks to your soul. The birds themselves are stunning and you feel their complete freedom, as well as the effort it takes to fly these tremendous distances, all based on the instinct of survival. Not all survive, and you will feel the sadness and pain of the sacrifices made along the arduous trip.

I happen to be a bird lover, but I don't think you need to be one to fully appreciate this movie. It is so much more than just about birds, it's the life, struggle and survival of all wild creatures who follow their instincts. If you see this movie, and I think everyone should, you will come away from it with a greater feel and respect for nature and it's struggles, as well as it's magnificent beauty. And I, for one, believe that respect will make each of us a better person.

I give this movie a 10.

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27 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

The Birds, Revisited.

Author: nycritic
17 April 2005

When documentaries fail to show humans and human events it's almost enough to put the audience to sleep by default (except of course, those who get excited at the mere suggestion of shows like "Nova" or educational programmes sponsored by the Mutual of Omaha).

WINGED MIGRATION doesn't essentially need or looks to inform us what we probably know already: that birds migrate, and in doing so, ensure their own species. But what it does show us is a continuous yet striking montage of birds of different species flying among oceans, mountains, skies, land... we see them through their points of view, while throughout there is the barest suggestion of a plot here and there as inevitably one bird either gets lost in flight, lands in a ship, gets caught in toxic waste (of which it may not escape alive as the others, obeying that instinctual law of moving on, depart), gets disoriented and injured and becomes food for hungry crabs, or even captured by humans to become pets. Beautiful, sometimes moving images that shows us a quiet cycle of life, death, and reproduction, which will stay with the viewer long after the credits have rolled.

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36 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Domestic Birds

Author: ucbengel from Berkeley, CA
31 March 2004

I was quite pleased with this movie until I watched the "behind the scenes" featurette on the DVD. It turns out that most of the extraordinary close-ups of winged flight that make the movie memorable are NOT of wild migrating birds. Rather, the filmakers raised and domesticated all sorts of birds through a process known as "imprinting" so they would be comfortable flying next to the noisy photography planes. Then they took their birds all over the world to dramatic backdrops like the Sahara and Monument Vally. They also used these domesticated birds for the dramatic set pieces revolving around birds trapped in sludge, stuck in a blizzard, escaping cages, or wandering the desert. Not only are these set pieces heavy-handed and overly dramatic, but the fact that the birds are not even wild and were placed in these situations really undermines the credibility of the film.

7 out of 10 (minus 1 point for the use of domesticated birds and minus 2 for putting ridiculously staged drama scenes in an otherwise beautiful nature film)

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Incomparable Beauty

Author: john_murdoch2002 from United States
18 November 2003

Each shot of this pheonominal documentary has been painstakingly worked on for over four years and it shows in one of the most beautiful and moving cinematic experiences I've ever witnessed. This is a documentary that celebrates and illustrates the beauty in life through a new set of eyes that we've never used before. For those of us who can't be globe trotters, for those of us who admire the tremendous live show that nature puts on for us every day, and for those of us who have always dreamed of flying, this is the movie to sit back and take in this wonderful experience. Some of the images are so beautiful to witness, they may move you to tears out of sheer beauty. How many scripted movies can do that?

This should have won Best Documentary.

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

I enjoyed the documentary

Author: annieokee-1 from United States
6 January 2005

It probably took a lot of time and effort to put this together. I wasn't bored for a minute. Some people get the big picture some people don't. I thought it was a rare treat to see things like this for a moment. To get outside of oneself and experience life in different terms made me feel good. It was peaceful and entertaining. I enjoyed the naration somewhat but felt it detracted from the film because it took away from the esoteric nature of the film as did the unnatural injection of unnatural elements. This untouched bit of nature needed very little narration. I admire anyone who is so dedicated to a project that they can truly expose nature in plain air. Winged migration was a great bit of craftsmanship.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Amazing Photography Should Awe About Everyone Who Sees This

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
28 January 2007

Here is a beautifully-filmed documentary on the migration of birds. This movie took four years to make, and one can see why. You cannot get much closer, I would think, to the flying birds than what you see here. Cameras were literally attached to some of the birds so you, the viewer, are up there in the sky right with these (mainly) geese as they migrant thousands of miles.

The colors are beautiful and the sound is good. However, be warned there is no dialog so it can be tough viewing the whole 90 minutes in one sitting. Also, I found the best and most interesting footage at the beginning.

Nevertheless, this is a good addition to anyone's collection if or no other reason than the magnificent photography and the effort filmmakers put out to make this wildlife documentary. It also is interesting how they show different species every few minutes, where they go each year, how many miles they travel, the exact route, etc. Wildlife and bird-lovers in particular, should love this film.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Birds of a feather......

Author: jotix100 from New York
19 June 2003

This magnificent documentary was a delight. It is a rare film to enjoy as it shows how these amazing creatures migrate from place to place in such incredible fashion.

The colors and the backgrounds behind the different species are photographed with such an eye to detail that one wonders the miracle of the technology behind it. One thing that never ceased to surprise me was the way most birds are shown flying in perfect formation as the camera seems to be part of the flock and it's just going along for the ride.

Contrary to what other people have experienced in watching this film, time practically "flew" for me as it was never boring, even though we are constantly looking at birds that are somehow similar doing the same thing over and over.

It's surprising that this documentary has been shown in art houses to grown ups, mainly. It is a film that would be suitable for children instead of other kinds of violent cartoons, or films that emphasize the brutal force in humans.

I'll take the birds, anytime!

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19 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A reminder of how beautiful the world is without humans

Author: Unglauber from Mexico City, Mexico
17 March 2004

A great documentary, where we can forget for an hour and a half that the humans are destroying the magnificent planet in which we live. An extraordinary film, great landscapes, great birds. Perhaps you will become a> birdwatcher after seeing this.

Strongly recommendable for people who want to rest from violence, corruption, and all mankind in general. It is refreshing to the soul.

If you have the chance of viewing the dvd, don't miss the making of the movie. It is one of the films you enjoy more after watching the extraordinary way they come up to film it.

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