Synopsis

MAN_TR1_0090_comp_trl_v0010.0086Nice, Southern France. Swifts and seagulls live on the same rock, but don’t get along well. One day Yves and Blanche, a seagull couple, find a starving baby swift. Blanche takes him home and calls it “Manou”. It‘s no surprise that Yves’s uncle, the grumpy old teacher Serge, opposes to the idea. Shortly after, Luc is born. Manou promises his father that he will always watch over his younger brother. Manou grows up believing that he’s a seagull. He slowly becomes aware that he is different, though, as he seems to fit in less the older he gets.

This is when Manou meets other swifts for the first time – attractive Kalifa and her cool brothers,Yusuf and Poncho. He feels drawn to their world and idealizes their lifestyle. Even more so, when his parents finally admit to him that he was adopted. Manou is in big shock, he feels betrayed by his family and terribly lonely.

One night, Manou comes back late from a wild party with the swifts and is accused by his father for not having protected Luc, who was attacked and injured by rats. Father and son have a harsh fight and outraged, Manou flees home to go seek his “real” family.

His new friends shelter him and try to be his substitute family. They introduce him to the secrets of swifts, like flying in a swarm or smelling storms. He finds out much more about swifts: They need to work hard and live under tight conditions. Manou doesn’t find it easy to cope with the harsh reality at first. but is grateful to get in touch with his roots. When he finds out that his swift parents are dead, he is struck by grief and insecurity. Now he has to find his own way and define his place between seagulls and swifts.

One night, Manou witnesses rats raiding the swift colony. Eager to help his crush, Kalifa, he follows them into the old market streets to rescue the stolen eggs from the rat’s nest in a dark old wine cellar. For the final battle he calls his Brother Luc for help and as a team they succeed. When they bring back the eggs the swifts are impressed by Manou’s courage as well as by Luc’s participation as a seagull. This adventure reminds Manou of how much he misses his seagull family.

When Manou smells a heavy storm coming, he tries to warn the seagulls, which are about leave for their wintering quarters in Africa. Yves, still hurt by Manou having turned his back on him, refuses to take advice. The seagulls fly right into the heavy “Mistral“ storm, which threatens their lives. Manou convinces the swifts to help the seagulls and forget about their prejudices. They lead them out of the storm.

Yves reconciles with Manou and thanks the swifts. The two species become friends, learning to accept their differences and celebrate their similarities. When they all return to Nice the following spring, seagulls and swifts live as close friends and neighbors on the Rock – this is bad news to the rats who have to go steal eggs elsewhere.