by Xawery Zulawski
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.