Cavebirds • 1h 21m
"Gan’s doc is a pained love letter to her artistic, impractical father, with his love of bonsai trees, birds and old poetry." POV Magazine
Hot Docs International Documentary Festival
Montreal International Documentary Film Festival
The key ingredient in bird's nest soup is the hardened saliva of the swiftlet. Once a rarity and now a harvested agricultural product, demand for this Chinese delicacy attracts entrepreneurs to Southeast Asia, where the swiftlets make their edible homes. Howard Gan is one of these investors. A recently retired Chinese-Malaysian Canadian immigrant who spent over half his life in Montreal, he returns to Malaysia to reconnect with his past, while providing an opportunity for future generations to connect with theirs. Gan is the father of the documentary's director (as well as editor and composer), Emily Gan. Her film explores themes of home and heritage, as it tracks her father's progress in building an edible-nest swiftlet birdhouse in his hometown - a small village he left more than half a lifetime ago. The winner of the emerging filmmaker prize at the Hot Docs film festival, it's a beautifully crafted father-daughter story that explores the changing values between generations and our desire to know where we come from.
Canada - 2019 - 1h 22m
Directed By: Emily Gan
Starring: Howard Gan
Up Next in Cavebirds
The filmmaker tracks her father's progress in building an edible-nest swiftlet birdhouse in his hometown - a small village in Malaysia he left more than half a lifetime ago.