Drunken Birds (2021)

Drunken Birds is about the intertwined fate of three characters. Willy (Jorge Antonio Guerrero), who’s madly in love with Marlena (Yoshira Escárrega), the only issue is that Marlena is the wife of Willy’s boss, the powerful leader of a Mexican drug cartel. They are torn apart when Marlena flees her husband and her country. Suspecting she might be hiding in Montreal, Willy finds a job on a lettuce farm near Montreal that employs migrant workers.

There he meets the farm’s owner, Julie (Hélène Florent), a woman torn between her husband (Claude Legault) whom she still has feelings for, and her dreams of running away from her life and responsibilities. This fragile balance is threatened by their daughter Léa (Marine Johnson), who understands the complicated dynamics at play and who seeks refuge in Montreal.

Drunken Birds is writer/director Ivan Grbovic’s second movie. Grbovic collaborated on the screenplay with Sara Mishara, who  is also the film’s cinematographer. Drunken Birds is a showcase for the duo’s talent. Every frame is a painting with beautiful muted colours that turn the lettuce farm in an almost mythic place of desire and hope set against the backdrop of the lived reality of migrant workers.

Review by Pier-Luc Ouellet

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Canadian connection

Directed by Ivan Grbovic, written by Grbovic and Sara Mishara
Montreal, Quebec
Drunken Birds was chosen to represent Canada for the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.