The Ornithologist

The Ornithologist

O ornitólogo

DVD - 2017 | Portuguese
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In northern Portugal, solitary ornithologist Fernando embarks on a search for an elusive species of stork but is quickly swept away by raging rapids. Rescued by a pair of Chinese pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, Fernando ends up lunging headlong into an eerie and dark forest where he encounters unexpected people and obstacles that will transform him.

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j
jimg2000
Nov 09, 2017

A bird watcher lost his med, his ways and identity in the wilderness around Douro region along the Portuguese/Spanish border. Liked the nature shots and that's about it. Perhaps should have read up on the glowing reviews first ... but doubt that I would enjoy it much more as this excerpt from an interview with JR Rodrigues:

Q. The film is full of religious symbolism. How did you decide on that?

A. I tried to do like a biopic of St. Anthony but a totally upside one – totally happily blasphemous. St. Anthony is like the patron of Lisbon. I like to dig into Portuguese mythology and St. Anthony is very popular mythology. ...

Pundit ratings:
6.6/10 IMDb
89% Rotten Tomatoes
3.5/4 Roger Ebert
85% Metacritic

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j
jimg2000
Nov 09, 2017

Religious quote at the opening:
Whoever approaches the Spirit will feel its warmth, hence his heart will be
lifted up to new heights. St. Anthony of Lisbon Homily delivered in Forli, Italy,
during the Whit Sunday of 1222.
===
Still baffled with the film's message after watched the film:

There are certain things we shouldn't try to understand. They come to pass and we must believe in them. The fire of the Spirit is a mystery we will never understand, but we must let it burn freely within us. When It takes hold of a soul, It fills it with Itself. And transforms it into the flame that will be passed on to others.
-So I should believe a lie? I know that I'm dead.
It's a lie only to you. To everyone else, you are alive. You never died.

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