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Bird Talk

The titular "bird talk" is the language used by those excluded from the aggressive, raucous majority - the history teacher tormented by his students, a recently-fired language teacher, a leprous composer, a woman who cleans the house of a banker, a deformed florist and a student fascinated by the cinema who are pushed to the margins by a system that reproduces thoughtlessness and chants of hatred. The film's protagonists have only irony, flowers and quotes from the classics as their weapons. Andrzej Żuławski's script accentuates the degradation of Polish intelligentsia, who choose a peculiar splendid isolation when surrounded by contempt for knowledge, by incivility and just plain stupidity. The "young" Żuławski also pays homage to his father's films. BIRD TALK is a glossary of Andrzej Żuławski's cinematic motifs, evoking its scenes, characters, costumes, themes and aura from films such as THE SHAMAN, POSSESSION, THE DEVIL, THE BLUE NOTE and THE THIRD PART OF THE NIGHT.

  • Xawery Żuławski
    Chaos, Snow White and Russian Red
  • Andrzej Żuławski
    Cosmos, Possession, On the Silver Globe, Fidelity
  • Marcin Wierzchoslawski
    The Mole, The High Frontier
  • Sebastian Fabijański
    Key Cast
    Legiony, The Butler,
  • Daniel Olbrychski
    Key Cast
    Salt, The Tin Drum, The Promised Land
  • Eryk Kulm Jr.
    Key Cast
  • Andrzej Chyra
    Key Cast
    The High Frontier, In the Name of, Katyn
  • Jaśmina Polak
    Key Cast
  • Sebastian Pawlak
    Key Cast
  • Marta Żmuda Trzebiatowska
    Key Cast
  • Borys Szyc
    Key Cast
    Cold War, Snow White and Russian Red, The Mole
  • Żaneta Palica
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Mowa ptaków
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 hours 18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    800,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • New Horizons IFF
    August 1, 2019
    Our of competition / Gala Screenings
  • 48th Festival du nouveau cinéma
    October 16, 2019
    International & North America
  • 16th Festival de Sevilla
    November 10, 2019
    The New Waves
Distribution Information
  • Velvet Spoon
    Country: Poland
    Rights: Theatrical
    Country: Poland
  • The Moonshot Company
    Country: France
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Xawery Żuławski

XAWERY ŻUŁAWSKI (1971), is the son of Andrzej Żuławski. In 1980s, when he was a teen, moved to Paris, where his father lived and worked. In 1991 Xawery was accepted to the Łódź Film School. His first feature, CHAOS (2005), received awards for best debut at the Gdynia FF and the Grand Prix at the Koszalin’s Youth&Film Festival. Xawery’s next film, SNOW WHITE AND RUSSIAN RED (2009), received many awards in Poland, among them, the Silver Lions and Best Actor prize (for Borys Szyc) at the Gdynia FF, as well as excellent critics’ reception and solid audience response (450k tickets sold in Poland).

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Director Statement

The key principle here is creative freedom: the film is a celebration of Andrzej Żuławski's approach to art, his reliance on impulse and intuition, and his ability to make use of things that seem to “come out of nowhere.” This creative freedom means, that filming BIRD TALK, a polyphonic text dealing with the multifaceted reality of present-day Poland, was an adventure, not a fraught and doomed attempt to imitate Andrzej Żuławski. And there’s no point “rationalizing” him by resorting to safe clichés, despite the fear and uncertainty that arise with each step into the unknown.