Did this movie win any academy awards? No. It should. Because this movie gets me. Every aspect of it does. Even before it was a movie, and just a documentary about Bill Lishman. If only it had sound. (It does, just very very very low)
The full movie is not free on Amazon. A whole $3.00 to watch it.
Maybe some day it will be free. Free like the birds.
The girl should get an award for her acting abilities. Her full range of acting is like this:
And that is impressive indeed. But on top of that you get basically a friendly approachable nutter solving a problem with birds. A problem he creates for himself. He is a right-brain type. Creative in pretty much everything, it just comes out of him, so problems then, his own architecture, home in the side of a hill, studio in home, his own art, his entire environment his own creation, including disastrous relationships.
In real life his nutter ways go far in finding solution to a vexing real life bird problem having to do with migration patterns becoming lost for threatened bird populations. Already experimenting with various light aircraft on his own sloping property, Leshman, wondered if migrating birds could be induced to following ultralight aircraft.
It takes a bit of a nutter to ask that, don't you think?
Turns out they do. The key is imprinting so you get scenes of birds born by cracking themselves out of eggs. The thing is, once flying the birds gladly accept the plane taking the lead in the V, much less work for them flapping. That is why birds switch off, the lead tires out and drops back in line allowing/causing another bird to cut through the air while the rest flap on the air coil spilling off the lead's wings, stronger and stronger air coils, bird by bird so that the last bird is hardly flapping at all, just sailing along, so sure, ultralight aircraft, have the lead.
The whole time the birds thinking, "you could give us a ride you know."
So much involved, high emotions everywhere, perfect for movies! The story only needed a little juicing here and there.
My favorite part of the whole thing is the effect Leshman's pursuit had on the ornithologist's world. The effort captured their imagination globally and concerned ornithologists all over immediately grasped the importance of Leshman's insight, his discovery, his development.
This genius and persistence, this fail, fail, fail, fail, win, is right up there with Joseph Swan inventing the lightbulb, I think. Not so clever as Tesla, but still. Come on, people are copying this all over the world. He saved the birds!
Bald ibis. (German) for example.
The projects inspired other films, Winged Migration (French)
This is my all-time favorite movie. It has my best movie award.