The Messenger

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 urban 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.

The Messenger extends our “birds’ eye view,” with a fresh glimpse into their migratory journeys. Dr. Martin Wikelski shares the wonders of new satellite technology that tracks individual birds over thousands of miles, and data visualizations elegantly create a glimpse into reveal the otherwise unknown and unseen movements of birds.

Ultimately, The Messenger is about what the birds have to tell us about the state of our planet and our shared future. In the words of Boreal biologist Erin Bayne, “Could we live without birds? We don’t really know for sure… That’s one of the fundamental concerns when you play with nature, pull one piece out, and maybe that’s a pivotal piece, we just don’t know.”