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Grutto! De Reis van onze Nationale Vogel

The new nature documentary by Golden Calf winner Ruben Smit follows the Dutch national bird during its world tour on its way to its breeding ground in the Netherlands.

Please note that this film is in Dutch, without subtitles.
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Despite its status as the national bird, the black-tailed godwit – grutto in Dutch – is rapidly disappearing from the Netherlands. The primal Dutch image of the jaunty wader in the flowery meadows of our polders is becoming rare. How is that possible? And what does that tell us about our landscape?

This impressive documentary by Ruben Smit shows how the godwit tries to survive in a changing world. The story begins in the vast peat marshes of Estonia, where the primitive godwit lives as it once did in the Netherlands. In Senegal, the godwit winters in mangrove forests among fishermen and rice farmers. When the rainy season starts, it tries to grab some rice, much to the annoyance of the farmers who are struggling with climate change. Early in February, the dizzying journey to Europe begins. In a two-day flight with a stopover in Portugal, the bird flies thousands of kilometres to its breeding ground in the Netherlands. Three quarters of the world’s population tries to breed in our cold country, but at the same time, more and more of them are heading for Iceland, where the black-tailed godwit is flourishing like never before.

Ruben Smit, Netherlands, 2022, 97 min. Dutch spoken, without subtitles.
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