The Birdpeople

Michael Gitlin teaches at Hunter College in New York City.

Tonight we present three films that delve into the dusty, dark corners of natural history to explore the animal “other” and humans' attempts to both understand and relate to the unknown. Michael Gitlin's new work The Birdpeople is a fascinating, multifaceted glimpse into the worlds of bird watching, monitoring, and collecting. The look of the camera, the binoculars, and the bird, the call of birder and bird, are intertwined and exchanged in this self-conscious, loving tribute to amateur and scientific bird lovers. Beautiful footage of birds optically printed from Kodachrome Super-8, “still” shots of natural history collections, and footage of a search for the birder's “Bigfoot,” the ivory-billed woodpecker, foreground issues of projection, loss, and obsession. (61 mins)

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