Birders: A stunning film about the birds of Central Park and the people who watch them. Something known as the “Central Park effect” attracts birds in droves during spring and autumn migrations, making it a hotspot for viewing over 200 species of birds. Central Park is entirely human-made, and has many recreations to offer, but also provides a bit of wildness in the shadow of skyscrapers. Watch this for inspiration and then get out your binoculars, or borrow a pair from us, and head over to the Arboretum this fall, to see the beauty of birds.
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama: You’ve been granted a rare, private audience with the Dalai Lama and are told you can ask 10 questions. What would you ask of one of the world’s wisest leaders? This is a probing tale of the Dalai Lama’s history, Tibet’s take-over by China and the exiled community in India where he and many Tibetan Buddhists have found refuge. As the Dalai Lama answers the questions posed by the documentary film-maker, you realize this is a rare person, who has learned to practice the high ideals of his religion.
Queen of the Sun, What the Bees Are Telling Us: Honeybees are disappearing. Whole hives of bees just don’t come home one day. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon is like a canary in the mine, warning us of a huge imbalance and threat in the natural world. The beekeepers in this film have a picture of health and balance to offer the bees, and learning to help bees, helps the environment and helps us all. At least 40% of the food you eat is pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. Our future, in many ways, is tied to the health of bees.
Watchers of the Sky: A history of modern genocide and the people who fight to make it impossible. One of these was Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term “genocide”, and fought a protracted battle in international courts to have it recognized as a crime. This film is sad, but very inspiring. I don’t think you can get through it dry-eyed or without the conviction to make a difference for good in the world, even in a small way. The title comes from a beautiful story about Tycho Brahe (told near the end).
A Year in Burgundy: Through the seasons in Burgundy, this film follows seven wine-making families and how they grow their grapes, work their land, and meld all the growing and processing factors into that fermented drink the world loves. Getting their wines to the peak of perfection takes artistry, experience, drive, profound commitment, plain old hard work, and, you might say, love.