Washington D.C. Premiere


THE LORD GOD BIRD (USA, 2008, 91 min.)

It’s the Holy Grail of ornithology. If America had a bird of paradise this would be it, and its history is the story of American conservation. — George Plimpton

Washington, D.C. Premiere In April 2005, a report that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, supposedly extinct, had been rediscovered in the Arkansas swamps made front-page news across the country and around the world. The rarest of rare birds, the Ivory-bill is so spectacular that according to legend those who see it spontaneously cry out, “Lord God! What was that?” While for the majority of Americans this sighting came as a wholly unexpected piece of good news from the conservation front, to the inner circle of birders this was the latest installment in a very old, legendary tale of hope and survival. Once common throughout the southeast United States, the bird had vanished over the past century as its forest habitat was devastated, reappearing periodically to reawaken hope for threatened species and environments everywhere. This film tells the story of the Ivory-bill not merely as a quaint piece of natural history, but as a story of faith and doubt, despair and hope regarding our own relationship with the environment. Covering the tension between skeptics who regard the bird as fantasy as well as those with determined faith in its existence, the documentary also explores the grass-roots conservation of the Arkansas outdoorsmen who most recently sighted the bird. Directed by George Butler, produced by George Butler and Robert Nixon and co-produced by Elisabeth Haviland James in association with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and in partnership with National Geographic Films. Written by Caroline Alexander. Edited by Li Shin Yu and Jean Tsien. Director of Photography: Sandi Sissel. Executive Producers: Adam Leipzig and Tim Kelly.

Discussion with writer Caroline Alexander, producer Robert Nixon, Ron Rohrbaugh, Director, Ivory-billed Woodpecker Resarch Project, and Tim Gallagher, Editor, Living Bird magazine, who sighted the bird in 2004.

Ticket/Reservation Info:

Tickets required. National Geographic Society members with advance purchase or reservations only, $15; Nonmembers, $18. For information and to order tickets, please call 202-857-7700, fax your ticket request to 202-857-7747 or purchase tickets online at www.nglive.org.

National Geographic Society, Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium

1600 M St., NW

(METRO: Farragut North)

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Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital