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Sierra Magazine

Sierra's January/February 2004
Let's Talk film selection
Winged Migration

By Jacques Perrin

Discussion questions

Winged Migration was nominated for an Oscar in 2003, having received wide acclaim from both reviewers and general audiences. What did you like most about the film? What were its weaknesses?

  • Director Jacques Perrin says Winged Migration "is like a dream--it’s not supposed to be a learning experience." Does the lack of narrative leave you wanting more information? Or does the film's focus on the visuals of bird migration encourage a more visceral reaction to the spectacle of birds in flight?

  • Did the film inspire you to see birds, the natural world, or multi-thousand-mile bird migrations in new ways?

  • An array of technological devices, including helicopters and airplanes, was used to capture these natural spectacles. How do we reconcile the use of environmentally destructive technologies in our pursuit of unaffected nature? If you travel to natural destinations, have you made efforts to curtail the environmental impacts of your trips?

  • Does it bother you that some birds were raised to imprint on the camera crew, so that flocks wouldn’t be scared off? What level of manipulation is too much?

  • The film gives us very brief but clear references to the impacts that humans have on bird migrations worldwide. What was your reaction to these images?

  • Did the film change your understanding of birds? What books or other resources would you recommend to those interested in learning more about birds?