Modern Goose

Karsten Wall | 2023 | 23 min.

2024 Official Selection

Able to navigate by reading the Earth’s magnetic field, fiercely loyal to flock and family, at home on land, air and water, geese straddle the territory between ancient instincts and the contemporary world.

Director Karsten Wall’s exquisitely observed film essay Modern Goose embeds in the daily life of these iconic animals. In flipping the usual nature-film perspective to centre another form of consciousness, something radical begins to happen. The concrete sprawl of parking lots, drive-thru restaurants and busy highways transforms from normalized to something extremely unsettling. It isn’t the geese who are the interlopers here, but people who have forced the birds into the margins, disrupting age-old patterns.

Combining beauty, humour and profound empathy, Modern Goose reveals how the mysteries of the natural world persist in the face of continual urbanization. From the s-curve of their elegant black necks to the tips of their dinosaur-clawed toes, geese are tough, resourceful survivors, not only adapting but thriving. They wing their way forth, creating a living calligraphy against the evening sky, offering a deeper message of continuity and connection. The will and determination of wild creatures to find their way home endures.

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