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Past Films

The Messenger

  • Director: Su Rynard
  • Genre(s): Documentary, Nature
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 89 min.

This free screening is sponsored by the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Registration is available only by calling the nature center at 888-4237, beginning September 15.

Su Rynard’s wide-ranging and contemplative documentary THE MESSENGER explores our deep-seated 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.

On one level, THE MESSENGER is an engaging, visually stunning, emotional journey, one that mixes its elegiac message with hopeful notes and unique glances into the influence of songbirds on our own expressions of the soul. On another level, THE MESSENGER is the artful story about the mass depletion of songbirds on multiple continents, and about those who are working to turn the tide.

In ancient times humans looked to the flight and songs of birds to protect the future. Today once again, birds have something to tell us.

"The arguments are persuasive, the message from the birds powerful, and the film a rich and satisfying call to action that is presented with some novel ideas for how to restore the ecological balance."
- Helen Verongos, The New York Times
"heir findings unequivocally caution on the necessity of averting the birds’ extinction because they are an integral part of the ecological system… The slow-motion close-ups alone should convince you these magnificent creatures are well worth the effort."
- Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Times
"The cinematography goes way beyond mere ornithological documentation. It’s as if we are seeing these birds for the first time, and in a sense, we are."
- Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor
"Superb nature footage and straightforward reportage make for a solid advocacy doc. "
- Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
"The Messenger paints a disturbing picture of how man-made climate change is impacting various species of birds while draining migrating populations of their numbers. "
- George Heymont, The Huffington Post