Ne tuons pas la beauté du monde
Faisons de la terre un grand jardin
Pour ceux qui viendront après nous
Luc Plamondon, Hymne à la beauté du monde
I thought I was going to see a documentary about messenger pigeon. But the “messengers” of the title are the songbirds. The study of their migrations, their slow decline is telling us a lot about the state of the planet’s ecosystem. Director Su Rynard visits ornithologists, ecologists, biologists and bird lovers from all over the globe. In Toronto, for instance, high-rises with mirror-like windows are the causes of many fatal accidents among songbirds. Domestic cats are also a cause (“I thought I saw a pussy cat”, I kept thinking). With amazing technological advances it is now possible to put tracking devices on birds and by computer, have a precise record of their travels. We go to France where we meet a lover of ‘haute cuisine’ is refusing to stop hunting and eating ortolans. In Germany, DJ Dominik Eulberg samples the sound of songbirds in his composition. Eulberg also reminds us that one of Wagner’s inspiration for Siegfried was songbirds. The greatest pleasures of The messenger is the work of cinematographers Daniel Grant and Amar Arhab. The beauty of the images carries the message of the film very well.
In English, French, German, and Dutch with English subtitles.