Birds of Passage – Review

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Image courtesy of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

Image courtesy of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

Birds of passage is a story of Cathy, whose father gives her a fertilized duck egg for her 10th birthday, and her best friend Margaux, to whom the duckling imprints. When Margaux’s parents won’t let her keep the duckling and Cathy’s mother doesn’t want to take it back either, the girls set out on an illicit adventure to save their duck from becoming Pâté.

Do I think it is appropriate for family viewing?


This is a wonderful family film that offers several things to reflect on and discuss, both for parents and kids. Cathy’s parents, while not directly hostile toward each other, make enough snide comments to put her uncomfortably in the middle of their divorce. Margaux’s parents, in an effort to protect her, have inadvertently denied her some basic joy’s of childhood — like lying in the sand. Both girls suffer from the modern tendency of parents to over-protect.

Although the girls face very little in the way of consequences for running away, the overall message is a good one. The girls stood up for something they believed in and took risks to do what they believed was the right thing. There is nothing I would consider violent or scary in this film. There was no sex or drugs. I don’t recall seeing alcohol or swearing.

My favorite thing about this film is how perfectly they depict the demeanor of a 10-year-old girl. The eye rolling, pouting and attitude were spot on. The passivity and lethargy could be written off as poor acting, except that is exactly what my 10-year-old is like. It is sometimes difficult to tell when a 10-year-old girl is excited.

Birds of Passage was directed by brothers, Olivier & Yves Ringer. This is their third family film. The filmmakers suggest this film for age 8 and up. While that is probably appropriate for attention span, I would not hesitate to sit down and watch this with the whole the family.


Language: French (with English subtitles)
Runtime: 84 minutes

Birds of passage can be seen one more time during this festival. Click the link to purchase tickets.

You can view the trailer for the film below.

Free Tickets DisclosureFamily Fun Twin Cities was granted press passes to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival to facilitate our reviews of the Childish Films series. We strive to provide honest and useful opinions regarding the appropriateness of each film for family viewing.

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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