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Winged Migration

Jacques Perrin , Philippe Labro , Jacques Perrin , Jacques Cluzaud    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 33.35
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Winged Migration + Microcosmos
Price For Both: CDN$ 100.00

  • Microcosmos CDN$ 66.65

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For earthbound humans, Winged Migration is as close as any of us will get to sharing the sky with our fine feathered friends. It's as if French director Jacques Perrin and his international crew of dedicated filmmakers had been given a full-access pass by Mother Nature herself, with the complete "cooperation" of countless species of migrating birds, all answering to eons of migratory instinct. The film is utterly simple in purpose, with minimal narration and on-screen titles to identify the wondrous varieties of flying wildlife, but its visceral effect is humbling, awesome and magnificently profound. Technically, Perrin surpasses the achievement of his earlier film Microcosmos (which did for insects what this film does for birds), and apart from a few digital skyscapes for poetic effect, this astonishing film uses no special effects whatsoever, with soaring, seemingly miraculous camera work that blesses the viewer with, quite literally, a bird's-eye view. A brief but important hunting scene may upset sensitive viewers and children, but doesn't stop Winged Migration from being essential all-ages viewing. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Sept. 26 2006
The extraordinary cinematography makes Winged Migration exquisitely beautiful. The preservation and conservation messages are both understated and obvious. What an achievement.

It is nothing less than humbling to contemplate and witness in some limited way the remarkable seasonal movement of birdlife alone around the globe. It is difficult to conceive how avian migration might otherwise have been done so engagingly and accessibly for all ages of viewer. The grim honesty with which the dangers of passage are shown are as necessary as the ordinary moments that, to us at least, are comical, tender or beautiful. The drama going on, otherwise unseen by us, is astonishing.

I own this film on DVD and have viewed it many times, beginning with cinematic release in NZ several years ago. I favour the British style of natural history documentary, a slant towards the presentation of fact rather than the creation of named characters in recognisable narratives. Winged Migration never attempts to be science, neither does it create characters in a story. It is so expertly filmed and organised that on each viewing I observe something new about the birds we travel with. When we begin to experience the possible and amazing journeys of individuals without overly anthropomorphising, I think we become more sensitive to our connection with wild things, the planet we all inhabit and our human impacts on it all. For my money, that's only to be encouraged. Share this gift of a film with your kids or your class - and answer the hard questions honestly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of course it's not a documentary... June 21 2004
Numerous times in numerous reviews you will read reviewers condemning this film for its lack of the basic principles of documentary filmmaking. I cannot state enough that the directors of this film never intended it to be viewed as a documentary, even going to the point to state clearly that their work was NOT such a film. So why would reviewers argue a point from which the directors themselves wished to distance themselves? Maybe ignorance, maybe selective memory; who knows, but a documentary this movie clearly is not. I have also heard several reviewers complain about the film's message. I thought as a political tool this film was extremely muted. It portrayed the realities of migratory species and the increasing difficulties that they face in an increasingly developed world. This is reality, not politics.
Much has also been said that the directors 'cheated' by imprinting birds to the camera crew to make those memorable camera shots. While this is not a revolutionary concept (Bill Lishman performed a similar task leading a flock of geese from Ontario to Virginia a few years earlier; his exploits were the loose basis for the film Fly Away Home), it is I believe the first time it has been used at this magnitude. Research is also being done to determine if this technique can be used efficiently in guiding new migration routes to help protect endangered migratory species such as the whooping crane and trumpeter swan. While it is less than ideal and certainly not natural, the process may be necessary to ensure that these animals can survive extinction. And taken in the context of this film, I believe this procedure is permissible given the principle of the film (whether intended or not).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE Aug. 1 2004
By A Customer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JAW-DROPPING, BIRD'S-EYE VIEW! June 18 2004
I've seen many a great nature film, but this one goes straight into the next dimension! Only a few minutes into the film and I knew I was hooked! I was astonished at the way that Mr. Perrin was able to capture these birds, all backdropped by some of the most magnificent vistas seen! The film's realism was such that I was constantly trying to figure-out how Perrin did it! Was a small camera strapped to one bird from each flock, just before their migration? I felt somewhat stupified by the wonder of it, perhaps in the way that a chicken would look at a card trick. Imagine flying alongside these creatures as they go from place to place, getting "A REAL BIRDS-EYE VIEW"! I've never seen anything like it!
As great as it was, I didn't care much for the intro speak at the beginning of the film. Why it is that the "Lords of Most Nature Films" seem hell-bent on stating that the beginnings of life started some 400-million years ago is beyond me. At most, it's theoretical conjecture stated as fact.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's appreciate birds July 13 2004
By A Customer
Too many people have taken the time to bash this exquisite and wonderful film that celebrates the avian life on earth. I, for one, take offense to their lies and misleading "facts". First of all, there are TWO bird-hunting scenes in the film. One takes place in the Adirondack Mountains of New York and involves snow geese and the other takes place in a marsh somewhere in EUROPE and involves greylag geese.
Second, to obtain the spectacular footage for the film, the birds shown in the film HAD to be IMPRINTED. Otherwise, it would have been impossible to film them up-close on their migration routes. Which wild birds do you know of that would let filmmakers fly close to them while they are flying their migration routes? Answer that, critics of the film!!!!
Third, the birds were taken to a wildlife sanctuary in Normandy, France, after the filming was over. They are taken care of by seven workers.
This film is GORGEOUS and all bird lovers should see it. Ignore the people who feel compelled to bash it.
After having read Errol Fuller's book "Extinct Birds", I felt lucky and honored to be able to see up close and personal today's birds in wonderful flight. Fuller's book contains illustrations and descriptions of so many EXTINCT birds that it saddened me. Watching "Winged Migration" has uplifted my spirits. Man has caused the extinction of at least 75 bird species since the year 1600. Be glad that a small percentage, but wide variety, of today's bird species are captured on film for your viewing pleasure and for posterity. If passenger pigeons, which once numbered in the BILLIONS, were still alive today, I have no doubt that footage of their SPECTACULAR mass migration flights would be included in this film. Such footage would make the starling flight footage in the film look puny in comparison.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by madeleine champagne
5.0 out of 5 stars I canwatch this many times over and still wonder at the ...
This is an absolutely fascinating, enjoyable and educational CD. I can watch this many times over and still wonder at the many types of God's creation!!! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jessie Leboe
5.0 out of 5 stars Winged Migration
Thoroughly enjoyed this dvd. Bought extra for gifts. Filming is amazing. We watch it over and over.
Whole family will enjoy this. Educational and beautifully presented.
Published 8 months ago by Linda Crofton
5.0 out of 5 stars Winged Migration DVD - Special Edition
Breathtaking photography. Lyrical images presented with a minimum of narration. You actually fly with the birds as they cross continents in their migrations. Read more
Published on July 9 2011 by StarVoyager
4.0 out of 5 stars Winged Migration
This was indeed a great purchase. Who would have thought a DVD like this would capture my attention for 90 minutes. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2009 by P. Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars upconverted quality
This is, in itself, a brilliant video in terms of content. But in terms of quality, there is a big difference between material shot in HD and older movies upconverted to HD, in... Read more
Published on May 22 2009 by Purchase Critic
2.0 out of 5 stars Winged Migration
I was disappointed in this DVD, not because there was anything wrong with it, but I had seen it in the theater years ago. Read more
Published on March 26 2009 by Phyllis Victory
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Vistas, Typically French
Fantastic landscapes, complete with the obligatory French swipe at America. The one and only scene in the film which depicts wild birds being shot out of the air by hunters takes... Read more
Published on July 13 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice!
The images of the birds flying were so lovely....I really liked this video, as I love birds, but I have to admit, in the middle of the DVD, I was a bit bored. Read more
Published on June 30 2004 by James
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