12 minutes





A makeshift community of people and migratory birds converge on a strip mall

Each year, the swallow commonly known as the purple martin makes a roughly 5,000-mile journey between North and South America. For his short film Exit 328, the US director Henry Davis documented thousands of these birds roosting in a somewhat unlikely rest area – a strip mall in Austin, Texas – alongside the makeshift human community of locals and dedicated birders that had formed beneath them. Over the course of a week, he filmed the birds making a temporary home in this most human of environments, alongside the eclectic concerns of the people below – from the birds’ safety, to the unpleasant prospect of being defecated on from above. Yet, there’s a peculiar beauty in these dissonances. Observing this convergence of time, place, perspective and species, Davis finds a strange electricity in this moment, which, while documented here, will never quite be replicated.

Director: Henry Davis

Website: Emergence Magazine