We are pleased to announce that Dogwoof Sales, the leading documentary sales agent and UK theatrical distributor, has picked up For the Birds. The company is regarded as the foremost documentary specialist brand in the world, and is a stamp of the highest quality content.
Reel World Reviews
Reviews From the 2018 AFI DOCS Film Festival
For the Birds
Directed by Richard Miron
Kathy Murphy, the central figure in Richard Miron’s captivating For the Birds, is the kind of person who you instantly regret entering into conversation with. She is antisocial and paranoid, and her hygiene falls well outside of social norms. She spends most of her day caring for the dozens of geese, chickens, and turkeys that have taken over the home she and her husband share in upstate New York. After a neighbor reports the unsanitary conditions, Murphy engages in a pitched battle with sanctuary workers and, eventually, local authorities to keep her beloved flock. As she refuses to give in to the authorities, she puts her marriage and even her freedom at risk.
It’s a gripping tale, and the film’s greatest achievement may be how it methodically changes our perception of its protagonist. It would have been easy to mock or judge Murphy—despite her affection for the birds, they are clearly better off at a well-run sanctuary—but Miron’s steady and sympathetic eye persistently searches for her humanity.
As tensions escalate and Murphy begins to unravel from the strain of the fight, For the Birds unveils a deeply humanistic bent (it’s executive produced by S-Town’s Brian Reed and shares the podcast’s gentle empathy). What emerges is a satisfying, even thrilling inquiry into mental illness, animal welfare, and the thin line between altruism and self-interest. It’s a film not to be missed. —Noah Gittell
Friday, June 15, 6 p.m., AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; Saturday, June 16, 2 p.m., Landmark E Street Cinema.
Eclectic as ever, this month Sheffield Doc/Fest presents its films alongside virtual and augmented reality experiences and numerous talks and discussions. Once again, screenings are split across thematic strands, including Doc/Think, Doc/Rhythm and Doc/Visions. The focus of our preview is on these three, and some of the other most filmically interesting and thought-provoking films Doc/Fest 2018 has to offer.
Contrasting with films about human-animal relations from the Doc/Love strand – see For The Birds and Mountain
Richard Miron’s FOR THE BIRDS, which follows the struggle between an animal lover/hoarder and animal welfare advocates.
A woman’s love for her pet ducks and chickens – all 200 of them – begins to threaten her marriage and draw attention from local animal rescuers. As an escalating custody battle unfolds in vérité, an unlikely cast of characters finds their own fates intertwined with the fate of these birds.
“Trapped,” a television documentary that probes the impact of state TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) statutes on reproductive health clinic workers and relates how they and their lawyers challenged these laws in federal court (Whole Woman’s Health V. Hellerstedt).