Le bruit du canon

Le bruit du canon
27 min | France | 2006

Every year, between October and March, a black cloud of 500 000 starlings crashes onto the Locarn region in Brittany. Swarms of birds ravage the crops and despoil the agriculture. A small wood of firs turns into a “dormitory” for these migratory birds, which cover the ground and the trees with tones of their evacuation.

Farmers have tried everything to fight against this plague. They tell us about their various attempts, more or less legal, more or less successful, to drive away the birds or to kill them. They describe the damages and the details of their daily horror. It is a declared war against the birds, lead by the humans, in a helpless struggle with a Nature that remains far beyond their understanding.

Meanwhile the birds perform magnificent choreographies above the firs. Their astonishing gathering makes this phenomenon alarming as well as mysterious.

Original format: 
DV. Color

Marie Voignier
Marie Voignier
Marie Voignier
Marie Voignier


Prix du court métrage, Cinéma du Réel, Paris, 2007

Text on the film

I became aware of this out-of-the ordinary migratory phenomenon through a short article in a newspaper. I went to film this mass of birds thinking that I would find something horrifying, hitchcokian. But once there, I discovered the entire contrary: choreographic and graceful flights, fluid movements and, eventually, a fascinating phenomenon.
I headed then towards the farmers so that they can put into their own words the horror of the situation.

The film is based upon this double aspect: displeasure / fascination and how one passes from one to another, as well as upon the dynamic of the combat into which the farmers are forced.
It is very important to stay unbiased in this one-way war, and to carry the editing to equilibrium in order to make place entirely for the anguish of the situation:

This game of attraction/repulsion is backed up by the soundtrack that contributes to create break-ups and intensity rises that are required for expressing the duality of the subject.

Marie Voignier.

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