Open Classroom: Bird Island

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 7:00pm

This winter, join students and faculty from the Department of Cinema and Media Studies as we open classroom screenings to the public. This time, we’re highlighting two courses: Humanities Teaching Fellow Dave Burnham’s Veracity, Virtuality, Venue: Experiments in 21st Century Documentary and Department of Cinema and Media Studies Lecturer Marc Downie’s Performance Captured course. 

Maya Kosa and Sergio da Costa’s whimsical semi-documentary blurs the lines that traditionally separate fiction and nonfiction. A young man named Antonin volunteers at a real-life bird sanctuary, interacting with the staff—all of whom are playing versions of themselves—while learning to care for injured birds and reflecting on the nature of existence. The film documents the daily labors that occupy the staff in quiet, sunlit scenes shot in an unorthodox, almost square aspect ratio, the rounded corners of the frame recalling old photos. Part nature documentary, part Bressonian observational fiction, Bird Island uses these elements to concoct a wry, deeply felt meditation on the environmental crisis confronting everyone, including birds. (Sergio Da Costa & Maya Kosa, Switzerland, 60 min., DCP) 

Dave Burnham is a Humanities Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on experimental cinema past and present, with particular focus on the modernist moving-image makers of today and the theory and practice of artists in the Anglo American 1960s and 70s.  

Masks and proof of vaccination required for entry for this in-person event at the Logan Center. Learn more at