A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is a 2014 surreal black-comedy film by Roy Andersson. The title references The Hunters in the Snow, 1565, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, which depicts a rural winter scene with birds perched on trees. Andersson said he imagined that the birds are watching the people below and wondering what they are doing. He explained the title of the film as a “different way of saying ‘what are we actually doing’, that’s what the movie is about.” The pigeon in the film is stuffed, sitting on a branch in a museum glass case. The introspective pigeon motif recurs in a poem haltingly read out by a child with special needs in this intriguing, odd and mythic film.
Photo: Pigeon, Avignon, March 2011