A Bird Flew In
Director Kirsty Bell explores the human impact of lockdown on a deeply intimate level in A Bird Flew In, the filmmaker’s feature debut. When the coronavirus pandemic puts an end to a film’s production, the cast and crew are sent home early where they spend the ensuing weeks trapped in their own domestic bubbles. Relationships break down while others are sparked. Some long for the friend that can’t be by their side, while others fall into a spiral of depression driven by an existential crisis.
It’s a noble and timely premise designed to emphasise the importance of human contact; however, while there are a handful of tender moments, the plot points are too melodramatic and the presentation too self-indulgent for the project to work successfully.
Comprised of a series of interconnected vignettes – each of which centres on a unique experience – the movie covers a lot of ground in terms of the various ways prolonged confinement can impact someone. The seemingly insignificant everyday irritations, such as your partner not asking if you want a cup of coffee, explode into far more serious conflicts, whilst film editor Lucy (Morgana Robinson in a fiercely powerful performance) struggles when she’s unable to visit her critically ill mother. The script embraces differing tones to convey a vast range of emotions and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the tougher subjects.
Except for a handful of moments, however, the impact of these explorations is severely hampered by the film’s own sense of self-importance. Alongside the black and white presentation and poetry segments that aim to give the impression of being artistically interesting, the writers make the mistake of doubling down on melodrama. Less is always more when it comes to intimate drama, and by escalating initially humorous situations to insane extremes, the intimacy is consequently lost.
The pandemic has left an indelible mark on society that filmmakers will likely tap into for some time to come. A Bird Flew In tries to do just that. However, its noble intentions are undermined by sloppy execution.
A Bird Flew In is premiering at Raindance Film Festival on 5th November 2021.
Watch the trailer for A Bird Flew In here: