Birds of Passage
Les oiseaux de passage
Cathy (Clarisse Djuroski), a child of divorce, receives a typically quirky gift from her largely absent father: a duck egg to hatch. Told that the bird will imprint on the first person it sees, Cathy is intent on ensuring that the duckling claps its tiny eyes on her when they open. But bad timing and ill luck intervene, and the hatchling instead fixes on best friend Margaux (Lea Warny) as its mama. Complications ensue: Wheelchair-bound Margaux, who suffers from a muscular disease, is deemed incapable of caring for the baby duck by her highly protective, fretful parents, who worry that their child’s impairment might even require placement in an institution. Shipped to a farm, the duck seems bound for a grim fate — forced fattening for eventual consumption as pâté. Though the bird is rescued from that calamity, the youngsters determine that their feathered ward needs its freedom. Embarking on a duck-napping mission, Cathy and Margaux go on a hunt for a “bird paradise” in which the pair’s web-footed charge can lead a more natural life. A bevy of concerned adults set off in search in search of the missing kids, but the girls — including disabled Margaux — prove far more capable than their parents imagine.