Hungry Birds short film review

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

★★★★

Directed by: Raffaele Romano

Written by: Raffaele Romano

Starring: Dominic Chianese, Giovanni Arezzo

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Movie Poster for Hungry Birds

A man is desperate. He is homeless and hungry and for him everyday is a struggle.


Winner of the Best Indie Short Award at the Los Angeles Film Awards, this beautiful and poignant film focuses on the hard life of a homeless man (Arezzo).


The film explores in detail his sad existence. He sleeps in a sleeping bag, in an alley. He looks for food inside rubbish bins and begs people for money on the busy pavements. He then takes a train, on which he carries on begging. He ends up in a park, where he sees an elderly man (Chianese), wearing expensive clothing and holding a cane. The old man sits on a bench and proceeds to feed bread to a group of pigeons. When the homeless man asks him for some bread, he refuses and beats him with his cane. Then something extraordinary happens.


This short story explores themes of poverty, homelessness, social inequality, class conflict and cruelty. And it does so with great power.


Arezzo delivers a touching performance as a poor man, who is living an awful life and needs to make a lot of effort to put food in his mouth. The sadness he feels is constantly written on his face and the audience will most likely sympathize with him. Chianese, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. He comes across as content with life and judging by his clothing, he seems to be well off. However, he shows no sympathy towards the beggar, showing more approval towards the pigeons.


Romano does a wonderful job with the direction and uses slow motion to great effect. Special recognition goes to the opening scene with the pigeons, which makes very interesting use of slow motion and sound techniques.


Giovanni Dall'O composed the music and did a fantastic job. The score becomes powerful and intense during the climactic scene and during the closing credits, the viewer will have the pleasure of hearing beautiful piano music.


This short, emotional tale is quite an achievement. The acting is very strong and the scenes showing the man dealing with poverty are very realistic. It offers a thoughtful and shocking experience.

#JasonKnight