A Bird Flew In has been officially selected for Best UK Feature at the Raindance Film Festival 2021. One of the first films shot after the pandemic and about the pandemic, it’s an emotional look into the lives of a group of people working on a film who return home to the news of the country going into lockdown.
Shot in black and white the film opens with the melancholic sounds of folk jazz musician Al Joshua whose songs set the tone throughout as we’re taken into the lives of a cross-section of different people as they deal with life in isolation.
The assortment of characters are all going through their own peculiar lockdown experiences, there’s the producer Naomi (Kirsty Bell) and her estranged husband Drew (Bill Fellows) who has by the sound of things found himself a new lockdown partner; there’s the beautiful actress Rebecca (Camilla Rutherford) struggling with her mental wellbeing as she tries to deal with isolation whilst maintaining a social media connection; Diane is the film’s director (Sadie Frost) who needs to team up online with the editor Lucy (Morgana Robinson) discovering a flirtatious side to their relationship that sadly hits the buffers as we gather Lucy’s mum has contracted COVID; and there is Peter (Jeff Fahey – the Lawnmower Man) the narrator of the story and the writer of the film within a film, a romantic poet trying to capture the heart of the beautiful French actress Anna (Julie Dray) with his writing prowess.
Directed by Kirsty Bell it’s a stylised approach with the black and white images, low key narration and heartfelt empathetic stories which is not unlike a Guiness advert but without the euphoria. Shining a subdued light on the crises with barely a mask, sanitiser or mention of loo roll, looking at these people’s problems happening during and brought about by a pandemic situation. Instead we see more about the relationships although there are plenty of other familiar lockdown themes like working from home, the video zoom calls, phone conversations about nature and it even manages to shoe horn in the new home abortion law passed in the UK; all dressed by some elegant home interiors where even the caravan has a luxurious feel to it – especially with the scantily clad Camilla Rutherford hopping around inside in her underwear.
Capturing a softer artistic side to the pandemic disaster with its collection of differing characters and its transient look into their lives it never stops long enough to get too depressing and there are love hopes too. It has the warmth of an all-star cast with cameo like appearances from Derek Jacobi and Frances Barber that keep a glossy sheen on these pandemic tales of woe.
Film: A Bird Flew In
Director: Kirsty Bell
Stars: Derek Jacobi, Jeff Fahey, Julie Dray
Run time: 1hr 35min