The movie is a cinematic fable that questions the future of the Pays d’Uzès, small county in the South of France, in environmental, economic, political and cultural terms.
In the past, people used to live from agriculture, today Uzès and the small villages around have become a tourist hotspot. For some time now, the Town Hall has been trying to scare away the jackdaws, birds belonging to the crow’s family which have taken residence in the county of Uzès just after the extinction of the dinosaurs!
Jackdaws are seen as a nuisance during the touristic season. They are noisy, they defecate everywhere, from cars roofs to restaurant terraces, but as they are protected by laws, they can not just be killed. By focusing on the birds, the film gets the opportunity to question the habitants of Uzès about their future without the construction of a militant attitude, which is often the source of conflicts. The jackdaws are a perfect way to build up a fable and they give freedom towards a poetic narration which is the key for bringing together people and the opportunity to create a real debate.
Through the character of Alphonse, a big lover of the jackdaws from Uzès, the film merges the two genres of documentary and fiction. This composition is the heart of the cinematographic construction (along with the tribute to the great filmmaker which was Hitchcock). By mixing the real with the fiction, and by hiding voluntarily the frontier between both of them, it narrates the issues raised by a small city in full transformation in a very funny way, without loosing the seriousness of the film’s topic.
In the county of Uzès, the secondary residences have multiplied by thousands while the agricultural surfaces and the scrubland as well as farmland are constantly disappearing. Shopping malls are built, luxurious boutiques are opened; the tourists can carry on shopping whereas a large part of the local population is not ready for such a change. Jackdaws are the perfect metaphor for evoking the natives who sometimes, if not often, find it hard to find accommodation, remain in the are and live accordingly to their traditions.
What does globalisation bring to the countryside? Issues arise in many areas, not only as housing. The environment, transportation, energy, cultural change or political organisation are other aspects. Numerous rural regions of France are going through this period of great change. The movie shows the collective organisation of a society facing change and gives the keys to spectators so that they can interact. The target audience is not only a rural population but also those who come as visitors. If the transformation of rural areas continue in the same rhythm as it does since the last two decades, where can we still find the nature we need to feed everybody, including those living in the cities?
Long live the jackdaws!