Not only the bird is beautiful

Juan drives down from his farm and into town in search of Ignacia, his employee's wife, but Puerto Jiménez becomes a labyrinth, Ignacia is nowhere to be found – does she even exist? – Juan's violence is unleashed. Forced to contend with himself, the possibility of change, however small, might be within reach.

  • Álvaro Torres Crespo
    Nosotros las piedras, 2017 (largometraje documental)
  • Álvaro Torres Crespo
    Nosotros las piedras, 2017 (largometraje documental)
  • Natalia Quesada
    Erizo (19 min ,2023); Direcciones (14 min, 2022); ¿A dónde te escondiste? (18 min, 2023); Ella se detiene a mirar (90 min, postproduction)
  • Braulio Fallas
    A dónde te escondiste? (18 min, 2023)
  • Álvaro Torres crespo
    Nosotros las piedras, 2017 (largometraje documental)
  • Alexander Jiménez
    Key Cast
  • Silvia Astorga
    Key Cast
  • Pierre Schmidt
    Key Cast
  • Esteban Chinchilla
    Director of photography
    Objetos Rebeldes (2020)
  • Lenz Claure
    “Toda la Sangre” (2022) Star Channel, Serie (USA) - “Selena, the Series” (2020) Netflix (USA) - “Quebrada Ignacia” (2023) feature film Dir. Alvaro Torres (Costa Rica) - “Boreal” (2022) feature film Dir. Federico Adorno, (Paraguay) - “Armas Blancas” (2021) feature film Mariana Musalem (México) - “Santa Bárbara” (2022) feature film Dir. Anaïs Pareto Onghena (España) - “Historia de un Crimen, Colosio” Netflix, Serie (2019) - “Días de Invierno” (2019) feature film, Jaiziel Hernández (México) - “José” (2018) feature film, Dir. Li Cheng (Taiwan, USA, Guatemala) QUEER LION AWARD VENECIA - “Cómprame un revólver” (2018) feature film, Dir. Julio Hernández Cordón (México) QUINZAINE DES REALISATEURS CANNES - “Nosotros las piedras” (2017) Documentary film Dir. Álvaro Torres (Costa Rica) BIARRITZ FILM FEST- “Atrás hay relámpagos” (2017) feature film Dir. Julio Hernández Cordón (Costa Rica) BAFICI - “Noches de Julio” (2016) feature film Dir. Axel Muñóz (México) TALLIN FILM FEST - “Te prometo Anarquía” (2016) feature film Julio Hernández Cordón (México/Germany) LOCARNO FILM FEST - “Nueva Venecia” (2016) Documentary feature film, Dir. Emiliano Mazza y Martha Orozco (México/Colombia) BIARRITZ FILM FEST AWARD - “Granicero” (2012) Documentary feature film Dir. Gustavo Gamou - “Distancia” (Sound Designe) (2012) feature film Dir. Sergio Ramírez. (Guatemala) - “Calle Reinas” (2011) Documentary Dir. Emiliano Mazza (Uruguay) DOCSMX AWARD - “Yubán” (2011) Documentary feature film Dir. Yahsib Vásquez (México). 35 mm. - “Las Marimbas del Infierno” (2010) feature film Dir. Julio Hernández Cordón (Guatemala/France) BAFICI AWARD
  • Odín Acosta
    Postproduction sound mixer and designer
  • Alex Catona
    Original Music
    Órbita (2023); Aurora (2021); Agosto (2019); Dos Fridas (2018); Way (2016)
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    No sólo es hermoso el pájaro
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 27 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    85,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Costa Rica
  • Country of Filming:
    Costa Rica
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 4k, Arri Amira
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Álvaro Torres Crespo

Álvaro Torres Crespo is a Costa Rican filmmaker. He completed his film studies at the Northwest Film Center in Portland, Oregon, and obtained his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. His first feature film, a non-fiction project titled “Nosotros las Piedras”, shot during four years in Costa Rica’s south-Pacific coast, won the best documentary award at the FICCI in Colombia and has screened in festivals both in Latin America and Europe including the FICG in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Festival Biarritz Amérique Latine in France. Photographer, and poet, also holds a degree in economics from the University of Costa Rica.

Álvaro completó sus estudios de cine en el Northwest Film Center en Portland, Oregon. Obtuvo su Maestría en cine y guion de la Universidad de Texas en Austin. Su primer largometraje documental ‘Nosotros las piedras’, fue grabado durante casi cuatro años en el bosque lluvioso del Pacífico sur costarricense y ganó el premio a mejor documental en el Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias en 2018, fue nominado a un premio Fénix y ha sido proyectado en decenas de festivales alrededor del mundo.

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Director Statement

It has taken us a long time to complete "Not only the bird is beautiful". The project has been our labor of love, continuously, for the last few years. We were able to shoot our film in Costa Rica's south-Pacific coast thanks to a committed group of artists that has always believed in the project and to the dozens of people, around the world, who generously collaborated through our crowdfunding effort. It is important to mention that it is very difficult to make films in Costa Rica and in Central America in general, especially films like ours, independent, provocative, necessary. As director of the film, I feel proud, both politically and esthetically.

Through the film we want to talk about the internal battle of a middle-class man from San José, who has always known how to behave in front of people, in front of his partners, in front of everyone watching, but has kept violent, controlling, authoritarian behaviors just below the surface. The film is a night in Juan’s life, a man who finds, in the anonymity that an unknown town offers, the opportunity to act on those repressed desires. It is a story of confronting different ways of understanding and embracing life, perhaps with more empathy towards oneself and towards others. We wanted to explore the different constructions of masculinity, individual processes, and changes we face. "Not only the bird is beautiful" is a contemporary film that reflects some of the crossroads we face today.

I lived in Puerto Jiménez, Península de Osa for several years – it is the place where I began making films – and I often express that behind the signs that advertise boutique and ecological hotels, there is a town deeply crossed by violence and vices where nothing is what it looks like. And so is Juan, an urban man, educated, affable, but very close to a boiling point given the internal battles he fights. We want to break away from that idealized and romantic notion of Costa Rican small towns, and present Puerto Jiménez, just like Juan is, as a space filled by contradictions.