Birds, Orphans and Fools
(Vtáčkovia, siroty a blázni) Director: Juraj Jakubisko, SK - F, 1969, Slovak version, 78 min
In Birds, Orphans and Fools, two friends, Yorick and Ondrej, live in a bombed-out church, decorated with the detritus of life (old furniture, a bathtub, a tiny piano and lots of birds). They take in a young Jewish woman, Martha, and one of the stranger ménages à trois in cinema history unfolds. Each has been orphaned by political violence, and each is devoted to playing the fool as a measure of distance from the horrors the have already absorbed. They recreate a family and a home. This post-apocalyptic Band of Outsiders might have been set in any age, but a beautiful three-way love (not sex) scene in a gutted American convertible sets it firmly in our own. Completed in 1969, Birds, Orphans and Fools was banned from release by the censors until 1990.