Directed by: Su Rynard
Films for our Future
Total Runtime: 89 min
Country of Origin: Canada/New York/Turkey
Best Conservation Program, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival; Top Ten Audience Award, Hot Docs; Official Selection, Mill Valley Film Festival.
“The filmmakers, like the songbirds they advocate for, are only messengers, but their message is persuasive and terrifying.”
(Q&A with producer Joanne Jackson after screening)
Can you imagine a world without birdsong? As terrifying as that is, hunting, light pollution, high-rise collisions, pipelines, pesticides, and destruction of migratory habitats have made songbird extinctions an all-too-real possibility. The Messenger, Su Rynard’s wide-ranging and contemplative documentary, explores our deep connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. Moving from the northern reaches of the Boreal Forest to the base of Mount Ararat in Turkey to the streets of New York, The Messenger brings us face-to-face with a remarkable variety of human-made perils that have devastated thrushes, warblers, orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks and many other airborne music-makers, while offering a glimmer of hope for the future and showing how birds have inspired music, art, and creativity for generations.