Despite our best efforts, it's a rare occurrence when we take a moment out of our hectic lives to observe the natural world. We’ve all looked in wonder at the setting sun, but think closely: how long do you actually watch it? A few moments perhaps, at the most a minute or two? In other words, just long enough to take in the beauty and then get back to whatever it was you were doing before you happened to look up. How many times, if ever, have you watched an entire sunset, until the sun disappeared? Well, there’s not much along the lines of sunsets in Winged Migration, but we are treated to 89 minutes of another natural marvel: the beauty and grace of birds in flight. and unlike those quick glances towards the sky, we’re a captive audience for the entire ride.
With its entire focus on the migration patterns of birds, Winged Migration takes on the role of a passive observer, which it accomplishes by taking its cameras to the sky and quietly following along with dozens upon dozens of species of birds, spanning all seven continents in the process. The cinematography is stunning, but then it had to be; by keeping such a keen eye on its subjects at all times, Winged Migration had no choice but to rely on startlingly beautiful imagery to get its point across, and on that level it certainly does not disappoint.
By way of its splendor, Winged Migration succeeds in focusing our attention on a very specific aspect of nature, and I can’t help but wonder after watching this movie that, if so much astonishment can be found in observing birds in flight, what other delights lie in the natural world for the taking? It’s enough to stagger the imagination.
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