A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence review – a unique hallucinatory trilogy | Peter Bradshaw’s film of the week

A new darkness of tone pervades the conclusion to Swedish auteur Roy Andersson’s incredible film about the human condition – what strange humans and what disquieting conditions these really are

The pigeon in question is dead; it’s in the first scene of this captivatingly strange and dreamlike film, sitting on a branch in a glass case, stuffed, as part of a museum display. Various pallid characters shuffle around, peering at the exhibits, and we in turn examine them from that deadpan fixed camera position that Swedish writer-director Roy Andersson prefers. These people look dead too; later, one will compare another to a zombie, but this does not really convey how diffident and withdrawn their undead behaviour is.

Related: Roy Andersson: ‘I’m trying to show what it’s like to be human’

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