Man Follows Birds
A medieval pageant of boyhood presented with a visual majesty to rival Khamraev’s contemporaries Andrei Tarkovsky and Sergei Parajanov. Man Follows Birds is a mystic vision, an ‘eastern western’ that exhibits Khamraev’s instinctive feel for landscape and the natural world.
A young boy gets a brutal sentimental education under the open skies of medieval Uzbekistan. Ali Khamraev’s stylistic tour de force is almost unclassifiable—a mystic vision, an eastern western, a pageant of color and movement, a portrait of adolescence painted in broad, expressionistic strokes. Man Follows Birds moves from one sumptuous moment to the next: rides through ecstatically colored landscapes, a trio of friends waking up covered in apple blossoms, the hero imagining his beautiful and long-dead mother in images that have an abstract power and beauty. Man Follows Birds is a film that truly deserves the word ‘visionary’.