Skip to content

The Ornithologist

  • Directed by João Pedro Rodrigues
  • Portugal/France/Brazil, 2016, 118 mins., Portuguese/English/Mandarin/Mirandese/Latin

Winner of the Best Director award at the Locarno Film Festival, Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist follows a man’s journey on a remote river in Portugal in search of rare birds. When his kayak capsizes, he is saved by two Christian Chinese women on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. They are but the first of a cast of strange characters who will engage him in a transformational spiritual and metaphysical journey through sprawling, often psychedelic forests. Rodrigues’s exotic, pastoral meditation on landscape, ethnography, and personal transcendence is a visually ravishing, profoundly hypnotic experience. In Portuguese, English, Mandarin Chinese, Mirandese, and Latin with English subtitles. Adult audiences.

Reviews: Cinema Scope 1, Cinema Scope 2, Brooklyn Magazine, In Review Online (third review), The New York Times (last review)

Interviews: Interview with João Pedro Rodrigues at Cinema Scope, Interview with João Pedro Rodrigues at Filmmaker Magazine


Filmography: The Last Time I Saw Macao (2012), To Die Like a Man (2009), Two Drifters (2005), O Fantasma (2000)