Le Rappel des oiseaux

The Call of the Birds
Stéphane Batut
FRA 2014

“The 4 August 2009, I was on a family trip in Kham, a Chinese province inhabited by Tibetans. I was invited to attend a ‘heavenly funeral’, where the corpse of the deceased is offered up to vultures.” – By beginning his film with images that he is reviewing on his editing table, Stéphane Batut immediately establishes a dispositif that constantly puts into perspective what he has seen, heard and filmed. He asks an exiled Tibetan to sit with him and describe the steps of this unforgettable experience of seeing. Also, perhaps, to exorcise his fear. No question of denying that he filmed as a tourist: that would be to lay claim to a search for art, when in fact his more penetrating approach touches on death and the body. Like Gianfranco Rosi, in BOATMAN (1993) filming the funeral pyres on the Ganges, the commentaries and “co-editing” transform the exoticism of the rite into its exact opposite: a questioning of our own funeral customs. And our paradoxical haste to have corpses disappear, our refusal to see the body dead even when no belief supports a life-after-death.

In presence of Stéphane Batut.


  • Stéphane Batut
  • Florent Lavallée
  • Mikael Kandelman
  • Jean-Barthélemy Velay
  • Sébastien Buchmann
  • Stéphane Batut
  • Fabrice Rouaud
Zadig Productions

Zadig Productions

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