Celebrate Earth Day with a special one-time-only screening of the critically acclaimed documentary “Ghost Bird,” about an extinct giant woodpecker, a small town in Arkansas hoping to reverse it misfortunes and the tireless odyssey of the birdwatchers and scientists searching for the Holy Grail of birds, the elusive Ivory-billed woodpecker. The film, presented by the Magic Lantern Film Society, will screen at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Magic Theatre in Nevada City.
Set in a murky swamp overrun with birders, scientists and reporters, “Ghost Bird” is an eco-noir exploring the limits of certainty the seductive power of hope, and how one phantom woodpecker changed a sleepy Southern town forever.
In 2005, scientists announced that the Ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to be extinct for 60 years, was spotted in the swamps of eastern Arkansas. Suddenly the swamps were flooded with ornithologists, birders and millions of government dollars, and the struggling nearby town of Brinkley discovered a promotional edge.
However, credible evidence of the woodpecker’s actual existence has been elusive, and the film balances the testimony (pro and con) of prominent scientists and bird experts with an examination of the seductive power of hope and investigation into the politics of our uneasy relationship with nature.
Soundtrack from Grammy Award-winning blues-rock band, The Black Keys.