Crave Hot Docs Showcase
Screening Dates
  • November 16, 2019 8:15

The key ingredient in bird’s nest soup is the hardened saliva of the swiftlet. Once a rarity and now a harvested agricultural product, demand for this Chinese delicacy attracts entrepreneurs to Southeast Asia, where the swiftlets make their edible homes. Howard Gan is one of these investors: a recently retired Chinese-Malaysian Canadian immigrant who spent over half his life in Montreal. Gan decides to return to extended family and oversee his investment. The swiftlet’s idiosyncratic life cycle — building homes for their offspring, only to be displaced and forced to resettle — captures the imagination of Gan’s artist daughter, who sees the parallels to her father’s own life. She’s keen to follow him on his adventure, hoping to understand his motivations for making this aviary his children’s inheritance. Addressing themes of home and heritage, Cavebirds is a beautifully crafted father-daughter story that explores the changing values between generations and our desire to know where we come from. – Alexander Rogalski, Hot Docs

Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award
Hot Docs 2019


Post-screening Skype Q&A with director Emily Gan.