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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Brilliantly absurd story about humans lives
Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesmen, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.
Like modern times’ Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sam and Jonathan, two travelling salesmen peddling novelty items, take us on a kaleidoscopic wandering through human destinies. A trip that shows us the beauty of single moments, the pettiness of others, the humor and tragedy that is in us, life’s grandeur as well as frailty of humanity. With a panoramic view it is told by a bird reflecting on the human condition. The pigeon is astonished by the humans—their activities, follies, prides, and agitation, which he tries to make sense of and understand. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is the third film of Andersson’s trilogy about humans lives, in which the director creates a tension between the banal and the essential, the comic and the tragic—to show the dialectic and dynamic nature of existence, while shaping the thought that mankind is potentially heading towards apocalypse, but also that the outcome is in our hands. Andersson’s Pigeon managed to amaze, move and left awe-struck the jury of the oldest international film festivals – Venice, and received the highest festival award – Golden Lion. Swedish master of comic absurdity, Roy Andersson is able to bring a humor in such painful subjects as mortality, aging, unpaid debts and unrequited love in his films.
Original title
En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron
English title
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Year
2014
Language
SV, EN
Subtitles
CZ
Running time
96 min
Genre

Festivals
National
Scandi
International
Benátky

Awards

Venice IFF
Golden Lion
2014
European Film Awards
Best Comedy
2015
Toronto IFF
Masters
2014

Media reception

The Telegraph
"You just have to watch it, then grab a net and try to coax your soul back down from the ceiling."
Variety
"The film is a master class in comic timing, employing pacing and repetition with the skill of a practiced concert pianist."

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