The Yellow Birds

Director: Alexandre Moors
Screenwriters: David Lowery, R.F.I. Porto

Institute History

  • 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Description

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography, Daniel Landin

Twenty-one-year-old Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich, soon to play the young Han Solo) and 18-year-old Murph (Tye Sheridan) become fast friends in army training before shipping off to fight insurgents in Iraq. Taken under the wing of a hot-headed sergeant (Jack Huston), they wander into the fog of war, but Murph never comes back. Bartle returns home with the secrets of Murph’s disappearance held close to his aching chest, while a shrewd military investigator (Jason Patric) and Murph’s anguished mom (Jennifer Aniston) demand answers.

Adapted by David Lowery and R.F.I. Porto, from the acclaimed 2012 novel by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds unfolds like a mystery, conveying its story in stark flashbacks and haunting fragments from the frontlines. Director Alexandre Moors follows up his striking debut feature, Blue Caprice (2013 Sundance Film Festival), with an enigmatic but unflinching drama about the costs of war—to both those who fight and those they leave behind. At the film’s center, Ehrenreich gives a startling performance layered with toughness and vulnerability, revealing an inner battle between competing codes of silence and friendship.

— Matt Cornell

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email archives@sundance.org