The Hawks and the Sparrows


1h 31m 1967

Brief Synopsis

On an empty road, an old man is walking with his son. They meet a crow that can speak. They are changed into monks and Saint Francois sent them to preach for hawks and sparrows. A reflexion about idealism.

Film Details

Also Known As
Uccellacci e uccellini
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 26 Jul 1967
Production Company
Arco Film
Distribution Company
Brandon Films
Country
Italy
Location
Rome, Italy; Fiumicino, Italy; Tuscania, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

While strolling down the highway of life, a man and his son encounter a talking crow who asks them where they are going and what they are doing. When they are unable to answer, the crow launches into a philosophical discourse on conflicting social and political ideologies. As the loquacious bird prattles on, the man and his son become a monk and a young friar in the year 1200. They are met by St. Francis of Assisi who asks them to decipher the language of the birds so that they can bring them God's message of love. Although the old man succeeds in talking to and apparently converting the birds, he is disheartened when a hawk swoops down and devours a sparrow. Disillusioned, he reports to St. Francis and is told--in the words of Pope Paul VI at the United Nations--that they must teach all living things to love not only their own kind but all others as well. Returning to the present, the pair continue their journey. They trespass on private land to perform an urgent personal need and become involved in a battle with the landowner; they enact the roles of both oppressor and oppressed when they threaten a starving family with eviction and then in turn are confronted by a man demanding payment of a debt; they each fulfill another need by enjoying the favors of a roadside beauty; they witness the birth of a child and also attend the funeral of Palmiro Togliatti, head of the Italian Communist Party until his death in 1963. As the persistent crow continues to elaborate on his dialectic homilies, another need arises--hunger. Winking at each other, the man and his son grab the crow and make a meal of their would-be teacher. And, as they continue down the road of life, the question posed by the crow, "Where are you going?" remains unanswered.

Film Details

Also Known As
Uccellacci e uccellini
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 26 Jul 1967
Production Company
Arco Film
Distribution Company
Brandon Films
Country
Italy
Location
Rome, Italy; Fiumicino, Italy; Tuscania, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

On February, 14th, 1988 Laura Betti introduced a reconstructed version of the film (99 min) at the `Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin'. This version contains a short episode with Toto called "Toto al circo", which was not included in the original release. Although director Pier Paolo Pasolini reported about his work on it, this episode had never been shown to the public before.

Notes

Filmed on location in Tuscania, near Fiumicino, and other locations around Rome. Opened in Rome in May 1966 as Uccellacci e uccellini; running time: 100 min.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1966

Released in United States August 1966

Released in United States September 16, 1966

Released in United States April 9, 1990

Released in United States August 18, 1990

Released in United States 1991

Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 1966.

Shown at New York Film Festival September 16, 1966.

Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at Museum of Modern Art in New York City April 9, 1990.

Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 18, 1990.

Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at UCLA Film and Television Archive September 27 - December 20, 1991.

Released in United States 1966

Released in United States August 18, 1990 (Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 18, 1990.)

Released in United States 1991 (Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at UCLA Film and Television Archive September 27 - December 20, 1991.)

Released in United States August 1966 (Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 1966.)

Released in United States September 16, 1966 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 16, 1966.)

Released in United States April 9, 1990 (Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at Museum of Modern Art in New York City April 9, 1990.)

Re-released in Paris February 14, 1990.