Serra recasts the story of the Magi as an elemental epic of man simultaneously lost and found in the uncanny beauty of nature. Masterfully shot in black and white on remote, almost extraterrestrial locations in the Canary Islands and Iceland, Birdsong follows the slow, stumbling passage of the kings towards the mysterious birth that beckons them through the long days and dark nights. Like Knight's Honor, Birdsong adds a level of humor to gently undercut the sacred qualities of the tale, here by foregrounding the wonderfully profane corporality of the awkward kings who float and fidget in an assertively, refreshingly human manner.
Mark Peranson, editor and publisher of the cutting-edge Canadian film journal Cinema Scope and Joseph in Birdsong, turns his own camera on Albert Serra to capture an engrossing chronicle of the Catalan maverick's unorthodox, rule-based production methods. By interweaving the waiting moments between shoots with peregrinations to the various locations, Peranson gently echoes Serra's own non-centered narrative technique. Yet by juxtaposing the unusual execution of specific scenes with visions of their final form, Waiting for Sancho ultimately reaffirms rather than unveils the mystery of artistic creativity.