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Bird Talk

Xawery Żuławski
Mowa ptaków
Poland 2019 / 138’
By the Grace of God

Based on a script by Andrzej Żuławski, this is a fascinating on-screen dialogue between father and son that combines nostalgia and fury, the sublime with humor, and old-school style with a sharp, penetrating look at Polish reality. The eponymous bird talk is the language used by those excluded from the aggressive majority: a history teacher tormented by children, a teacher of Polish studies fired from his job, a girl who cleans a banker’s villa, a florist with a club foot and a student with a fascination for cinema. Pushed to the margins by the extreme right, they defend themselves with irony, songs and quotes from the classics. Andrzej Żuławski's script accentuates the degradation of intelligence, which, surrounded by contempt for knowledge, rudeness and stupidity, chooses its own sort of splendid isolation. This radical artistic experiment that tells the story of a rejected communist combines the energy of Snow White and Russian Red with the anarchic atmosphere of Chaos. A genuine stylistic tour de force that, on the way to its ecstatic finale, evokes ghosts of scenes, characters and the aura of films like Native Dancer, Possession, The Devil and The Third Part of the Night. It is hard to imagine a greater tribute to the man who made them—or a more beautiful film letter to a father. 

Małgorzata Sadowska

Xawery Żuławski

Born in 1971, Xawery Żuławski is a director and screenwriter. His Chaos (2006) received the award for the best directorial debut at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. In 2009, he made the acclaimed Snow White and Russian Red (Silver Lion winner at the Polish Film Festival) based on a book by Dorota Masłowska. He is a lecturer at the AMA Film Academy. His parents are director Andrzej Żuławski and actress Małgorzata Braunek.


2006 Chaos 

2009 Wojna polsko-ruska / Polish-Russian War

2019 Mowa ptaków / Bird Talk

Cast & Crew

director Xawery Żuławski
screenplay Andrzej Żuławski
cinematography Andrzej J. Jaroszewicz, Marian Prokop
editing Wojciech Włodarski
music Andrzej Korzyński
cast Sebastian Fabijański, Eryk Kulm, Jaśmina Polak, Sebastian Pawlak, Andrzej Chyra, Borys Szyc, Daniel Olbrychski
producer Marcin Wierzchosławski
production Metro Films
sales Metro Films
language Polish
colouration colour