The Yellow Birds

Synopsis: "Yellow Birds" follows John Bartle and the difficulties he faces in keeping his humanity, his urge to survive and his friend Murph alive during the war in Iraq, as well as his life and struggles with his memories of the war after he comes back to Virginia.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Alexandre Moors
Production: Saban Films
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
94 min


[soft dramatic music]

[soft instrumental music]

[soft dramatic music]

[Bartle] The war tried

to kill us in the spring.

And the summer.

It tried to kill us every day.

It didn't explain itself.

It didn't tell us why

it brought us there

or what it wanted.

It just took.

[distinct radio chatter]

It killed some of us before

we knew we were dead.

Pretty soon it was hard

to tell who was alive

and who was just a ghost.

We lost Murph

somewhere in there.

Not really sure when.

Even before we lost

him, he was gone.

I wish the truth were different

than what I remembered.

I wish I could find an

order that made sense.

[upbeat music]

Conceal and carry, baby.

Conceal and carry.

It's gonna take courage

to win this war.

[Soldier] Definitely.

[upbeat music]

She's into you, Murph.


- [Bartle] You like her?

- No.

Go dance with her.

I can't.


I'm not a good dancer.

So just dance.


Hi! Where you going?

Hi, sorry.

He'll get to it.

He's shy.


You're embarrassing me.

You're embarrassing

yourself, dude.

Come on.

Come on!

[Soldier] Yeah, baby.

[Soldier] F***ing move!

Now move! Move!

- [Soldier] Incoming!

- Move!

F***ing move, go!

[gun firing]


[Soldier] Oh, sh*t!

All right, let's go!

[bombs exploding]

Guys, guys...

[bombs exploding]

That was pretty close, huh?

[Officer in cadence] Yellow

bird on a window sill.

[Group of soldiers] Yellow

bird on a window sill.

[Officer] Pretty little

beak and a pretty little tail.

[Group of soldiers]

Pretty little beak

and a pretty little tail.

[guns firing]

[Man] Check your racks.

There you go, Morgan!

Hey, man.

You from Virginia?

I'm from Richmond.

Well, just outside Richmond.


[guns firing]

My name's Murphy.

Yeah, I know.

Oh, yeah.

Somebody told me

you're from Virginia.


Then why'd you ask?


Get your asses up here.

[guns firing]

Now, you boys seriously

need to unfuck yourselves.

You hear me?

None of you people get it.

Now, Murphy, show me something.

[Man] Firing mine, rapidly


[gun firing]

Your turn, Private.


How tall are you?


5'7" what?

- Just 5'7".

- 5'7", Sergeant.

5'7", Sergeant, sir.

You fast?

Yes, Sergeant.

All right, little man.

When the time comes I need

somebody to run for me,

I'm gonna ask you.

Till then, I want you to get

in Bartle here's back pocket

and I want you to stay there.


[gun firing]

[Murph] Yes, sir.

Get your sh*t, get

a rack near Bartle.

- You got that, Bartle?

- What, sir?

[Sterling] You got a new

girlfriend to keep you company.

[Officer in cadence] Then I

crushed his pretty yellow head.

- [Bartle] Is that your mom?

- Huh?

Oh, yeah.

You jumped right

in, didn't you?

[Murph] Into what?


Oh, yeah.

Well, it's just

something I'm getting

under my belt, you know?

My dad was in the Marines

before he went to college.

I don't know if he, like

wanted me to join up

- or anything, but...

- Mm-hm.

I guess I just wanted

to do something good

before I do whatever

else it is I'm gonna do.

I think I'm gonna go to UVA

after this and study history.

[Bartle] History of what?

I don't know.

I just like history.

What about you?

Uhh, I almost

went to school.

But then...

I didn't.

I just wound up

f***ing around and...

And not really doing

much of anything.

So why'd you join up?

Thing to do. I don't

know if it felt like

a good thing, but...

It felt like a thing.

[soldiers chatting]

Is it too late to, I

don't know, take it back?

- Come home?

- Ma.

Ma, it's done.

It's done. Okay?

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David Lowery

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Yellow Birds" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. <>.

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