Archives / 2006 Sundance Film Festival

The Hawk Is Dying

Director: Julian Goldberger

Screenwriters: Harry Crews, Julian Goldberger

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Description

It is a basic human need to connect with something larger than yourself. Achieving this state of grace is an elusive goal, and oftentimes the process of making this connection doesn't look very pretty or logical. Julian Goldberger returns to Sundance (his film Trans played in the 1999 Festival) with The Hawk Is Dying, an enigmatic and emotionally potent film about one man searching for meaning in his life.

George Gattling is an auto upholsterer who lives with his sister, Precious, and her mentally challenged son, Fred. Occasionally in George's life, there is sex with Betty, a 20-something pothead. But George's passion and meaning in life are training hawks, even though he has fumbled falconry and killed several birds. One day, he and Fred catch the most magnificent red-tailed hawk he has ever seen. Nearly everyone in his life thinks he is mad for wanting to continue with falconry, but George is determined to finally tame the bird, even in the face of tragic events.

Paul Giamatti's incredibly powerful performance as Gattling, an earnest man who finds himself a fish out of water in his own life, firmly holds the emotional center of this daring and confident film. Entirely original, The Hawk Is Dying is a beautiful and metaphorical film rich with genuine emotion and unexpected epiphanies.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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