Ghost Bird

Ghost Bird

DVD - 2010
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"Set in a murky swamp full of birders, scientists and reporters, [the film] explores the limits of certainty, the seductive power of hope, and how one phantom woodpecker changed a Southern town forever. This thrilling eco-noir investigates the strange but true story of a small town in Arkansas overrun by a nation of birders all in search of the Holy Grail with wings -- the ivory-billed woodpecker." -- Container.
Publisher: [United States] : Matson Films, c2010
Branch Call Number: DVD 598.7 G346
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (85 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Aug 28, 2017

A hilarious documentary that illustrates how life can imitate art. In Sturla Gunnarsson's 2001 comedy movie "Rare Birds", starring William Hurt and Molly Parker, the spurious sighting of a rare waterfowl saves a failing Newfoundland restaurant as hordes of birders indulge their gastronomic needs at Hurt's restaurant, The Auk. In this documentary, some grainy video footage and dubious audio recordings purporting to be of the ivory billed woodpecker turn a seedy hick town in Arkansas into a Mecca for birdwatchers. The rapid snowballing of sightings of a bird believed extinct since 1920 delight of the town's chamber of commerce, yet strangely, despite the plethora of cameras and other recoding equipment, no hard evidence of the birds existence ever emerges. As ornithological skeptics start to pick holes in the whole story and point out the excessive white area of plumage, they become the targets of the town's ire. People who know little about ornithology might also learn a great deal about the scientific aspects of the subject from watching this film. I was amazed at the enormous numbers of preserved bodies of extinct birds are warehoused in research facilities. The documentary interviews an expert who points out that had early 20th century ornithologists not collected eggs and bird specimens with quite so much zeal, the birds might not have become extinct in the first place!

Aug 06, 2015

2nd disc is defective.


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