(Le Peuple Migrateur)

Directed by Jacques Perrin. 2001.

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Do you ever dream that you can fly like a bird, freely soaring above the Himalayan Mountains or the Pacific Ocean? Shown in 40 countries around the world, the Oscar-nominated documentary Winged Migration allows you to do this vicariously. The film follows multiple species of birds answering an urgent and mysterious call to migrate in search of food over thousands of miles through changes in time and seasons. It is both a dazzling travelogue (a natural for IMAX) and a poetic ballet of energy and grace. 

Using gliders, balloons, helicopters and a special type of aircraft known as the Ultra Light Motorized craft, Winged Migration was two years in the making and required 450 people, including 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers to shoot and is an extraordinary technical achievement. The migration of birds is still one of the world's supreme mysteries, yet I found the narration to provide little insight into its secrets, content to name the different species of birds and the distances they are flying. Though ninety minutes of birds flying to soporific music did get a bit tiresome for me, if you can still see beauty in the natural world, care about the environment, and are awed by stunning vistas of seven continents, this film is for you.

Howard Schumann
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