The Messenger


Sequoia 2 Sun, Oct 11, 2015 8:00 PM
Sequoia 2 Mon, Oct 12, 2015 11:45 AM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Active Cinema
Mind the Gap
Running Time:90 min
Premiere Status:US
Director:Su Rynard
Producer:Joanne Jackson
Sally Blake
Martin de la Fouchardière
Diane Woods
Su Rynard
Screenwriter:Su Rynard
Sally Blake
Cinematographer:Daniel Grant
Amar Arhab
Editor:Eamonn O'Connor
Print Source:Kino Lorber
Note Writer:Jeff Campbell


Brightly feathered songbirds are earth’s original musicians, but this urgent documentary drives home that their delightful symphonies are in jeopardy. The world faces a bleak possibilitythat the sun may one day rise in silence. Aimed at both the head and heart, The Messenger celebrates these tuneful avian athletes, whose prodigious migratory feats span hemispheres and defy belief, even as it soberly explores the reasons behind their dramatic disappearance worldwide. Like canaries in a coal mine, songbird declines sound a dire warning about our collective toll on nature, which includes deforestation, urbanization, industry, blanket use of insecticides, and light and noise pollutionin addition to climate change. Gorgeously photographed, featuring stunning super slo-mo shots of birds in flight, this loving, elegiac film also celebrates the devoted conservationists who study and save these birds and are spreading a simple, powerful message: If we want songbirds singing tomorrow, we must change our ways now.

Co-presented by San Francisco Green Film Festival, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Marin Audubon Society.

Additional Information

Su Rynard is a filmmaker who has won numerous awards for her films and media art. Her work is often inspired by science and, most recently, ecology. Her dramatic feature film Kardia (2006), a meditation on the human heart, was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. Her feature documentary Dream Machine (2000) was produced by The National Film Board of Canada. Rynard’s films have screened at various film festivals, including Toronto, Rotterdam, Shanghai, and Fajr. Rynard was one of ten filmmakers selected from across Canada to be a resident at the Canadian Film Centre in 1996. She was also selected as one of four filmmakers to participate in the 2011 CFC/NFB Documentary Development Program. She attended York University, Faculty of Fine Arts and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. Rynard’s work has been exhibited in galleries including the NY MOMA and the National Gallery of Canada. She lives and works in Toronto, Canada, and The Messenger is her third feature film.