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still Birdsong (El cant dels ocells) (Albert Serra, ES 2008)


Albert Serra / ES, 2008 / 95 min.

Did the Three Wise Men from the East, on their way to baby Jesus in his crib, actually know what they were looking for? Artist/filmmaker Albert Serra paints an epic portrait – with a humorous undertone – of three men, lost in an inhospitable landscape in the pre-Christian era.

poster Birdsong (El cant dels ocells) (Albert Serra, ES 2008)

Three men – kings – on their way to see the newborn who will become known as the Saviour. The terrain they have to pass through is rough and desolate; their journey to Betlehem, where the presumed King of the Jews has been born, is harsh and exhausting. Nevertheless, the trio stride boldly and stoically onwards.

Catalan artist Albert Serra filmed the story of the Three Kings through the filter of the Catalan folk song ‘El cant des ocells’, which he had heard as a child. Serra shows these Wise Men as hellbent on fulfilling their mission, but also as fallible human beings; awkward, humorous travellers stumbling through a hostile environment.

Screening of a 35mm copy from the Eye collection.

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Albert Serra

Production year




Original title

El cant dels ocells


95 min.







Part of

Albert Serra

Eye Filmmuseum presents the first exhibition in the Netherlands about the work of Catalan film and theatre director Albert Serra. Transforming the entire exhibition space into an immersive stage, Serra orchestrates nocturnal and clandestine encounters where theatre, cinema, and art converge.

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campaign image Albert Serra – Liberté

Why in Eye

Birdsong is comparable to Serra’s debut Honour of the Knights, which is also based on a classic story. Serra, however, is mainly interested in all the 'dead' moments between the tales. This creates space for a subtle exploration of how the characters relate to one another.

Thijs Havens
Programmer Eye Filmmuseum

still Birdsong (El cant dels ocells) (Albert Serra, ES 2008)
still Birdsong (El cant dels ocells) (Albert Serra, ES 2008)
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Current exhibition

  • 8 June — 29 September 2024

    Albert Serra


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