Birds of Passage – Review

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.

This film was originally reviewed as part of the Childish Films section of the 2016 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. FFTC was provided with tickets to facilitate our review. Find more movie reviews from past film festivals here


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

You can view the trailer for the film below.


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  1. Pingback: Family Movie Night - Quick Reviews and Parental Guidance - Family Fun Twin Cities

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