Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, December 4: THE MESSENGER
Su Rynard’s exploration of the plight of the songbird in the modern world had its world premiere at Hot Docs this past Spring. Other fest appearances have included Jackson Hole Wildlife, Vancouver, Mill Valley, Reykjavik, Calgary, and Bergen.
A response to the alarming decline in the population of songbirds, Rynard’s film travels around the world to explore some of the causes, from pesticides and light pollution to climate change and predators, human and feline alike. The film features beautiful lensing, including standout slow-motion sequences of various birds in flight, and profiles a wide-range of avian champions, from activists fighting against poaching (already well-covered in EMPTYING THE SKIES) to scientists employing the latest technology to track the songbirds’ migration patterns to a remarkable degree of accuracy never before possible. Rynard gets the point across that these melodious creatures are imperiled, and that their fates are intertwined with our own, but the survey approach taken here makes the film feel too episodic and at times scattered, diminishing from the greater impact that some of these vignettes might otherwise have.