Fable of the Beautiful Pigeon Fancier (Fabula de la Bella Palomera)

Director: Ruy Guerra
Screenwriters: Gabriel García Márquez, Ruy Guerra

Institute History

  • 1989 Sundance Film Festival


Orestes is a well-to-do man who owns a rum factory in a Brazilian town, and no one dares answer him back. His personality is branded by wealth—in the town he all-powerful—and by his own mother, a possessive woman who can’t help sometimes treating him like a child. Orestes has occasional love affairs with some of his friends wives. They are furtive encounters that leave no mark on him, since his sole aim is to satisfy his carnal lust.

However, one day he meets Fulvia, the beautiful pigeon fancier, and his life changes radically. He is driving along the beach in his car when he comes upon a slight and nimble shape, wearing a dress with many lace flounces that looks more like a bridal gown, running after her sunshade that the sea wind has snatched away from her. Orestes gives her a lift home. She tells him her name is Fulvia, and that she has a one-and-a-half-year-old child, a load of messenger pigeons in her house with nowhere to go, and an adorable husband who is a musician. For Orestes it is love at first light, but his love is only returned after a long siege, during which they use their allies the pigeons, to send each other cryptic messages.

One afternoon, Orestes paints the words “This is mine” on her belly in red paint, with an arrow pointing southward. That night, Fulvia undresses as always in front of her husband, having forgotten all about the burning confession displayed on her belly.

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Screening Details

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