Forty pigeons thrown at a car on the set director

Forty pigeons thrown at a car on the set: director Michael Bay in court in Florence

by Ilaria Borseni

The allegations of a traffic cop who photographed the scene. The American filmmaker answers: Never hurt an animal

If they could talk, maybe they’d complain, but as it turns out the Forty deaf protagonists of this story have happily returned to their place, allo Grunwald Zoo in Anguillara Sabazia (Rome). Four people remain on trial in the field, including the American director, and not the lost feathers, which the indictment details in detail Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Ambulance and more) with a charge of animal cruelty that seems trivial here but can overwhelm a solid reputation and colossal fortunes in the United States.

Luckily no dead animals, as the American media wrongly reported. But the second section of the monocratic tribunal of Florence have to determine whether Bay and the others – Edoardo Martino, associate of the Grunwald Zoo, Costei Padurariu his employee and the pigeon lover Giancarlo Alpini – endangered well-being and the balance of a large display of pigeons, which are a protected species. The starting point of the prosecution was a report by a municipal police officer who was watching the filming of “6 Underground” from his office window.

It all started in August 2018 on the set of the film starring Ryan Reynolds, shot between Tuscany and Lazio. The knot lies in an action scene: a car being shot through the streets of Florence at breakneck speed. The script calls for using pigeons for the occasion. A Obstacle to the visibility of the protagonist started spectacularly through the streets of the Tuscan town. Moments of cinematic pathos to the delight of Bay action film fans. Eagle Pictures signs contract with Grunwald Zoo who delivers 170 pigeons to the director and delivers them to the action set at Via dei Tintori. He turns around. And here, according to the police officer’s accusation, carried and represented by pm Florentine Christine Fumia Von BorriesInstead of simply letting the pigeons fly up, they are violently ‘thrown’ against the windshield of the moving car. The accused “cruelly and without necessity subjected about 40 pigeons to torture and intolerable behaviors due to their ethological characteristics”.

A show that would have paid tribute to respect for animals. “(The defendants, editor’s note) threw such pigeons violently and directly against the windshield and bumper of this car every time the car drove through, since the scene was repeated 6/7 times”. The artificial flight of the pigeons would have caused trauma to the birds, of which there is no trace, as the pigeons are alive and well: «So these suffered a strong effect on your body, they turned around themselves, they lost numerous feathers…». All without worrying about the presence of a veterinarian, the watch blames it the lawyer Fabrizio Siggia, who is assisting Bay, strongly denies this: «An important production, I would say monumental, takes all the necessary precautions in these cases. As a staunch animal rights activist, Bay has followed all the rules of the case,” he breaks off. The policeman also took some photos of the set and the triggered flight during the key scene. But little, according to experts, is really visible in the recordings, shifted and blurred. According to the indictment, the other defendants were also lazy, although they were theoretically involved in the welfare of pigeons. From the USA, Bay gave an interview to The Wrap magazine: “In my thirty-year career I have never hurt an animal”.

If you want to keep up to date with what’s new in Rome, subscribe to Giuseppe Di Piazza’s free newsletter, The Seven Hills of Rome. Hits your inbox every Saturday at 7am. Just click here.

January 15, 2023 ( edit January 15, 2023 | 09:27)