Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival



A bold, inventive family saga told through a poetic documentary essay.

Neither fish nor fowl — but fascinated with the connections between species — The Metamorphosis Of Birds is a singular hybrid. A family saga in the form of a poetic documentary essay, this debut feature by Portuguese writer-director Catarina Vasconcelos is an inventive, boldly imagistic piece that marks its creator as an original, deeply thoughtful talent.

Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily


A beguiling, engaging portrait of family history.

What if you never knew your family, and they remained in photographs on a mantelpiece, their lives to be dreamed of, destinies to be imagined? That’s the premise of this engaging and pensive hybrid of fiction and documentary.

Catarina Vasconcelos is discovering her past at the same pace as we in the audience, unmasking a period when Portugal was under dictatorship that looks like a foreign country to today’s young Portuguese (Vasconcelos was born in 1986). There is also something proudly feminist about the exploration here, delving into women’s voices shut out of the public sphere at the time.

Ed Franki, The Film Stage

Language: Portuguese
Subtitles: English
Director: Catarina Vasconcelos
Production Country: Portugal
Year: 2020
Length (min): 101
Age limit: S
Cinematographer: Paulo Menezes
Screenplay: Catarina Vasconcelos
Editing: Francisco Moreira
Sound Design: Adriana Bolito, Rafael Cardoso
Producer: Pedro Fernandes Duarte, Joana Gusmão, Catarina Vasconcelos
Production Company: Primeira Idade
A Title in Original Language: A Metamorfose dos Pássaros