WI / IL Short Slot 1
YES! Filmmaker(s) Attending for Q & A
Sat Feb 22, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Domenico’s
Bird of Paradise
Directed by Alexander Zorn
USA | 13 min | 2019
A queer geriatric nurse learns one of life’s hardest lessons when he falls in love with one of his elderly patients.
The goal when making BIRD OF PARADISE was to show an unconventional, and often unseen, love between two men in a realistic and vulnerable way. Despite age and background, love can develop between anyone. Yet, rarely is everyone okay with unconventional love. This rings doubly true for Reuben and Cypress who are both queer and several decades apart in age. The film is not just a fictional representation of these societal strains placed on relationships that defy the norm, but also a direct critique of how society forces relationships for the sake of comfort. As a queer person, this is something that I’ve experienced first hand.
What makes this film distinct is not simply the depiction of a queer relationship, but the willingness to show an unconventional couple in a realistic way. Often times in queer films sexuality wins out over sensuality and intimacy. However, not every relationship is physical and driven by sex. Some are defined by acts of love that transcend sexual desire. It is important to me to present a queer film driven by this subtle side of love that is often forgotten. The result is a film that is unapologetic in its queerness and its depiction of the subtler side of many relationships.
Alexander Zorn is an award-winning filmmaker based in Chicago with over 6 years of filmmaking experience. His work has screened at festivals throughout the country. In the summer of 2018, Alexander worked as a student mentor for the CHA Documentary Filmmaking Program in Chicago. The resulting documentary Phenomenally Me was accepted into the Cannes Court Metrage Short Film Corner.