A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Swedish: En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron) is a 2014 internationally co-produced black comedy-drama film written and directed by Roy Andersson. It is the third installment in his "Living" trilogy, following Songs from the Second Floor (2000) and You, the Living (2007). It premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival[2][3] where it was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Film.[4] It was selected as the Swedish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards but it was not nominated.[5][6]

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Turkish film poster
Directed byRoy Andersson
Written byRoy Andersson
Produced by
  • Linn Kirkenær
  • Pernilla Sandström
  • Håkon Øverås
  • Philippe Bober
StarringNisse Vestblom
Holger Andersson
CinematographyIstván Borbás
Gergely Pálos
Edited byAlexandra Strauss
Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB Coproduction Office
Distributed byMagnolia Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 2 September 2014 (2014-09-02) (Venice)
  • 14 November 2014 (2014-11-14) (Sweden)
Running time
101 minutes
Box office$237,517[1]

Its title is a reference to the 1565 painting The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The painting depicts a rural wintertime scene, with some birds perched on tree branches. Andersson said he imagined that the birds in the scene are watching the people below, 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."[7] At the Venice Film Festival, Andersson said that the film had been inspired by the 1948 Italian film Bicycle Thieves by Vittorio De Sica.[8]

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