7.0/10
9,115
41 user 173 critic

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 24 October 2014 (Norway)
Trailer
1:43 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesman, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.

Director:

Writer:

4 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

You, the Living is a film about humankind, its greatness and its baseness, joy and sorrow, its self-confidence and anxiety, its desire to love and be loved.

Director: Roy Andersson
Stars: Elisabeth Helander, Jörgen Nohall, Jan Wikbladh
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Where are we humans going? A film poem inspired by the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. We meet people in the city. People trying to communicate, searching compassion and get the connection of small and large things.

Director: Roy Andersson
Stars: Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two teenagers fall in love over the summer, in spite of cynical and disapproving adults who dismiss their relationship as being nothing but young love.

Director: Roy Andersson
Stars: Ann-Sofie Kylin, Rolf Sohlman, Anita Lindblom
Force Majeure (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A family on a ski holiday in the French Alps find themselves staring down an avalanche during lunch one day; in the aftermath, their dynamic has been shaken to its core, with a question mark hanging over their patriarch in particular.

Director: Ruben Östlund
Stars: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren
The Tribe (2014)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A deaf mute boy joins a boarding school for similar children. Confronted by the violent and criminal antics of some of the other boys and girls, he struggles to conform and join the 'tribe'.

Director: Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi
Stars: Hryhoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy
45 Years (2015)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receives shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.

Director: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James
Tangerine (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.

Director: Sean Baker
Stars: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian
Phoenix II (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A disfigured Holocaust survivor sets out to determine if the man she loved betrayed her trust.

Director: Christian Petzold
Stars: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf
Taxi Tehran III (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Jafar Panahi is banned from making movies by the Iranian government, he poses as a taxi driver and makes a movie about social challenges in Iran.

Director: Jafar Panahi
Stars: Jafar Panahi
The Lobster (2015)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover.

Director: Peter Strickland
Stars: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Monica Swinn, Chiara D'Anna
Anomalisa (2015)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man crippled by the mundanity of his life experiences something out of the ordinary.

Directors: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Stars: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Holger Andersson ...
...
Sam (as Nisse Vestblom)
Charlotta Larsson ...
Lotta
Viktor Gyllenberg ...
Lotti Törnros ...
Flamenco Teacher
Jonas Gerholm ...
Lonesome Lieutnant
Ola Stensson ...
Captain / Barber
Oscar Salomonsson ...
Dancer
Roger Olsen Likvern ...
Caretaker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wilhelm Rising ...
Man at the busstop
Mats Ryden ...
Man at the busstop
Edit

Storyline

Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesman, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sexuality and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 October 2014 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$25,313 (USA) (5 June 2015)

Gross:

$222,284 (USA) (9 October 2015)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Roy Andersson the film had been inspired by Ladri di biciclette (1948). See more »

Connections

Follows Songs from the Second Floor (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Zandahls Kanon
Written and composed by Frans Hodell (1866)
Musical arrangement and performed by Björn Isfält
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The sweetness from bitters
11 May 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.

It would be inappropriate to talk about this film's genre.  This is not a comedy,  not a drama and not even a dramedy. It's just a pigeon's reflection on existence. As I came out of the cinema I didn't even know if I liked it or not. But let me tell you something: it's not about that! I woke up the next day with an array of images and tunes in my head.  The meaning of the film seeps through the layers of perception and leaves you with an undefined aftertaste.

The camera captures little nothings that upset the characters. The humour emerges from the contrast between the pettiness of their situation and the tragic effect it has on them. A flamenco teacher as her student's unrequited lover, two sales men that never sell anything etc. are just a few examples. On the other side, when real tragedy such as death occurs, people behave like it's just another banal event. The only thread that connects the film is the story of the two salesmen. This duo represents what nowadays we call losers. Their dullness counterpoint the incredible scenarios they end up in. Their universe is anachronistic and at times delightfully surreal. In this mad world it seems like people have strong feelings only at war time. Be it romantic passion, patriotic pathos or grief.

But what about the pigeon? What is she/ he thinking? I believe that the pigeon is a poet. The pigeon sees the things that are outside history. He sees beauty in kids making bubbles and lovers sharing a cigarette. These scenes pop up on the screen like epiphanies and are infused with visual poetry.

There must be a meaning in all this apparent nonsense. There seem to be an answer to Jonathan's malaise(one of the two salesmen). His vision of human sacrifice for the pleasure of others makes him question his existence. He is a tragic hero being shut down by the guy who keeps on telling him that he needs to work in the morning.

I didn't like the film at first. But it gets to you like a good Negroni. It's bitterness flourishes notes of unexpected sweetness.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Christ, this bored me to tears peniledementia
unforgettable scenes alejacop-68160
How I Could Find This Movie? ahmadsh6811
I'm glad to hear you're feeling better wvc-1
UK Release? lp88
Do you need to watch the trilogy in order? BanduDandu

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?