Birds of the Air is a film that uses the subject of birds and bird migration as a way of viewing some of the complexities surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in particular the idea of ‘return’ to the land of Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The geographical area, to the east of the Mediterranean, lies on one of the busiest routes for migrating birds in the world. Each spring and autumn over 500 million birds pass over or pause to re-fuel, on their way to and from Africa, Europe and Asia. Soaring on the warm air thermals that rise from the land, they pose a great danger to Israeli military aircraft.
Filmed in Israel, the West Bank and a refugee camp in Lebanon, the film will weave together observations from both Israeli and Palestinian ornithologists researching bird migration together with the voices of others for whom the notion of ‘return’ to this land is of paramount importance. A sense of the cyclical movement of the birds above will link the often-complicated human stories on the ground, while the land itself maintains a continuous presence in this poetically fragmented narrative.