The Birder focuses on fragility in a world driven by capitalist logic. In a capitalist society it is easy to forget that bodies are vulnerable and death does not seem to exist – until it happens.
The film is based on a conversation with the birder Martin Heubeck, who works at a lighthouse on Shetland Islands and who has monitored the seabird population for oil contamination since the oil industry descended on Shetland in the late 1970s.

The film portrays the dilemma of this man, whose love and care for the birds also inadvertently makes him part of an industry that views their bodies (dead or alive) as a measure of capitalism’s efficiency.

Gerard Bell portrays the birder in the film. He carries out a choreography that is based on Martin Heubeck’s experience and his intimate gesture of picking up the birds without gloves. The film focuses on his refusal to wear gloves and this particular moment of him feeling closer to the bird’s body than looking after his own interests. His own body is forgotten while he imagines being part of the birds. It is a gesture of love, hope and pain in the face of a world in which all serves to produce capital.

  • Color system PAL
  • Color col.
  • Year 2018
  • Duration 00:04:00
  • Languageinfo
    Spoken: English UK
  • Artists