Coming to theatres and to VOD today, Wednesday, April 22: EMPTYING THE SKIES
Douglas and Roger Kass’ chronicle of a fight against avian extinction made its debut at Sheffield in 2013. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, Hamptons, Big Sky, Wild & Scenic, Washington DC’s Environmental, Atlantic, and the San Francisco Green fests, among others.
Based on a widely-disseminated New Yorker essay by novelist Jonathan Franzen, the Kass’ film exposes the dangerous consequences of the traditional southern Europe practice of hunting migratory songbirds as a delicacy, and the efforts of an intrepid group of activists who have made it their mission to stop the now-illegal activity. Recognizing that many songbird species are facing extinction, the members of CABS, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, have taken it upon themselves to seek out and sabotage the work of would-be poachers in Cyprus, Italy, and France, risking their own safety as they rescue trapped birds and come up against angry hunters, who stand to profit on the black market in the absence of their meddling. Appropriately opening on Earth Day, the film serves as effective, and often dramatic, environmental advocacy.