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Albert Serra
El cant dels ocells
Spain 2008 / 98’
Waiting for Sancho The Name of Christ

The Three Kings roam a rocky wilderness to pay homage to a child they don’t know. The Bible doesn’t yet exist. Neither the purpose nor the direction of their journey is clear, nor is the time it will take. These pioneers are ready to confront the absurdity of their mission and at the risk of profanation. The face is always interesting, says Serra, but if you remove the person, what remains? The black-and-white, minimalistic Birdsong places human silhouettes in distant perspectives, finding a spectacular form to tell the story of the magical beginning of Christianity. Critics have focused on the “porosity” of the images, which seem to approach the limit of visibility and disappear in darkness, as well as Serra’s penchant for “dead time”—in this case, waiting for the birth of God. Appearing in the lead roles alongside Lluís Carbó and Lluís Serrat, familiar to audiences from Honor of the Knights, are the latter’s father, Lluís Serrat Batlle, producer Montse Triola (Mary) and Canadian film critic Mark Peranson (Joseph), who, while on set, shot a documentary about the film. 

Agnieszka Szeffel


Entrevues FF 2008 - Grand Prix; Gaudí Awards 2009 - Best Director, Cinematography, Best Film in Catalan Language; Split International Festival of New Film 2008 - Grand Prix

Albert Serra

A Catalonian director and producer, was born in Banyoles in 1975. He studied Spanish and Comparative Philology at the University of Barcelona. His second film, Honor of the Knights, a loose adaptation of the story of Don Quixote, appeared in the section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at Cannes in 2006. Serra’s second film of 2008, Birdsong, found itself in the program Un Certain Regard, a prestigious section of the Cannes festival, and it was also recognized as the best Catalonian film of the year. The new one Liberté received Special Jury Prize of Un Certain Regard.

Selected filmography

2003 Crespiá

2006 Honor rycerza / Honor de cavallería / Honor of the Knights

2008 Śpiew ptaków / El cant dels ocells / Birdsong

2010 Imiona Chrystusa / Els noms de Crist / The Names of Christ

2013 Historia mojej śmierci / Història de la meva mort / The Story of My Death

2016 Śmierć Ludwika XIV / La mort de Louis XIV / The Death of Louis XIV

2018 Roi Soleil

2019 Liberté

Cast & Crew

director Albert Serra
screenplay Albert Serra
cinematography Jimmy Gimferrer, Neus Ollé
editing Àngel Martín, Albert Serra
cast Lluís Carbó, Lluís Serrat Batlle, Lluís Serrat, Montse Triola, Mark Peranson, Victòria Aragonés
producer Montse Triola
production Andergraun Films, Eddie Saeta S.A., Televisió de Catalunya (TV3), Capricci Films
sales Andergraun Films
language Catalan, Hebrew
colouration colour