Singapore not only hosts regular bird song competitions, it also has a large number of bird clubs with several thousand members. Especially the men of the city-state are real bird watchers. They often spend every spare minute with their animals and prepare them with great passion for the big competitions at the weekend. Bird madness in Singapore goes so far that well over 100,000 Singapore dollars are paid for the best feathered choirboys. The sparrowhawks, whose singing is highly appreciated by both judges and the public, are considered particularly valuable and popular.
In the GEO reportage “Singing Birds – The Golden Voices of Singapore” filmmaker Cordula Stadter follows taxi driver Amir with her camera. He admits at first that he and some of his friends are downright addicted to the feathered animals and that he has to make up little white lies from time to time to avoid upsetting his wife when he has already bought a new bird for his private collection. Usually he then claims that he received the animal as a gift from a friend, he says mischievously. In his home in the high-rise jungle, Amir has set up his own bird farm where he regularly raises young birds.
In addition to Amir, the audience gets to know other extraordinary protagonists. First of all there is his 13-year-old daughter Amirah. To have more time for them, Amir quit his old job as a keeper. The girl would like to become a painter one day and helps in her father’s private zoo with care and feeding. The chirping in the house has a therapeutic effect on them. Amirah suffers from a severe bowel disease and reports that the birdsong calms her down when a new attack is imminent, thus preventing a worse course of the disease.