Screening of the documentary 'The Messenger'

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 - 7:00 AM
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 - 9:30 PM

Conservation Queen’s and the local chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology will be hosting a screening of the award-winning film ‘The Messenger’ in Dupuis Hall Auditorium at Queen's University (campus map) on Wednesday November 9th at 7:00 pm. The cinematography is outstanding and the themes provocative and moving. The film discusses human relationships with birds over human history and the current extinction crisis through the lens of avian diversity (see the synopsis below). After the screening we will have a panel discussion with:

  • Dr. Vicki Friesen (seabird biologist & conservation geneticist. Biology, Queen's University)
  • Mark D. Read (global birder & education chair, Kingston Field Naturalists)
  • Dr. Rachel Vallender (bird conservation biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service)

The screening is sponsored by the Queen’s University Biological Station, the School of Environmental Studies, and the Department of Biology.

Admission is free.

THE MESSENGER, a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard (Dream Machine, Kardia) chronicles the struggle of songbirds worldwide to survive in turbulent environmental conditions brought about by humans and argues that their demise could signify the crash of the ecosystems globally, akin to the disappearance of honey bees and the melting of the glaciers.  

For thousands of years, songbirds were regarded by mankind as messengers from the gods. Today, these creatures – woven inextricably into the fabric of our environment – are vanishing at an alarming rate. Under threat from climate change, pesticides and more, populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically. As scientists, activists and bird enthusiasts investigate this phenomenon, amazing secrets of the bird world come to light for the first time in this acclaimed and visually thrilling documentary. Beautiful slow motion photography illustrates the power and beauty of these delicate winged creatures that have been praised and eulogized across cultures and
throughout time.  

Find out what’s killing our songbirds, and what can be done about it. As in ancient times, songbirds may once again be carrying a message to humans – one that we ignore at our own peril.

Poster for the documentary the Messenger.