The Metamorphosis of Birds (A Metamorfose dos Pássaros)

The Metamorphosis of Birds
The Metamorphosis of Birds (A Metamorfose dos Pássaros)

Director: Catarina Vasconcelos

Portugal | 2020 | 101 min

FIPRESCI Prize – Berlin Film Festival
Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Prize – San Sebastian Film Festival
International New Talent Award – Taipei Film Festival

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Evocative + Poetic + Personal

The Metamorphosis of Birds is a bewitching feature debut from emerging Portuguese director Catarina Vasconcelos, who explores her family stories in a poetic documentary essay.


Beautifully documented on 16 mm film, Catarina Vasconcelos journeys into the memories and dreams of her ancestors, starting with her naval officer grandfather, Henrique, gone for long, homesick periods from his children and his beloved wife, Triz. The couple wrote letters back and forth, but Henrique ordered the correspondence to be burned upon his death.


A jigsaw puzzle of metaphors, memories and bit of magical realism, The Metamorphosis of Birds is a beguiling meditation on generational love and the mourning after. It evokes the natural world with its changing seasons, ever-flowing tides and cycles of plant and animal life – that counterbalance and nurture those of human life.


Get access to an exclusive Q&A with your ticket:

Host Kinga Binkowska (VFF Head Programmer) talks with director Catarina Vasconcelos