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The Messenger

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Su Rynard

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About the Movie

A contemplative documentary, THE MESSENGER explores our deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. Moving from the northern reaches of the Boreal Forest to the base of Mount Ararat in Turkey to the urban streets of New York, THE MESSENGER brings us face-to-face with a remarkable variety of human-made perils that have devastated thrushes, warblers, orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks and many other airborne music-makers. These include hunting, light pollution, high-rise collisions, pipelines, pesticides and loss of migratory habitats. On one level, THE MESSENGER is the artful story about the mass depletion of songbirds on multiple continents, and about those who are working to turn the tide. According to international expert Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, who is featured in the documentary, we may have lost almost half the songbirds that filled the skies fifty years ago. On another level, the messenger is an engaging, visually stunning, three-act emotional journey, one that mixes its elegiac message with hopeful notes and unique glances into the influence of songbirds on our own expressions of the soul. For example, a German composer, DJ and bird-watching enthusiast, Dominik Eulberg incorporates bird-sounds seamlessly into techno music and introduces us to the use of birdsongs in Wagnerian opera.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 10
  • Fresh: 10
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Over all, the arguments are persuasive, the message from the birds powerful, and the film a rich and satisfying call to action that is presented with some novel ideas for how to restore the ecological balance. – Helen T. Verongos, New York Times, Dec 3, 2015

Fresh: The slow-motion close-ups alone should convince you these magnificent creatures are well worth the effort. – Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Times, Dec 10, 2015

Fresh: Filmmaker Su Rynard never loses sight of the winged tunesters' sheer beauty, or their emotional and symbolic pull. – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter, Dec 8, 2015

Fresh: The filmmakers, like the songbirds they advocate for, are only messengers, but their message is persuasive and terrifying. – Amy Brady, Village Voice, Dec 1, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Yet another powerful documentary that proves that humans need to begin working with nature again, instead of against it. From climate change, deforestation, and pervasive added sugars in our food, to factory farming, household waste, and corporation monopolies on water and seeds, the devastation that humanity is now imparting on the world can no longer be ignored. The Messenger demonstrates just how far our plight to destroy this world while rolling in our own filth reaches, as yet another aspect of our natural world, these beautiful and wondrous birds, is under serious threat; yet, hopefully not beyond redemption. The Messenger saddens, enrages, and inspires, which any good documentary should do. Definitely worth watching!

The Messenger
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2015

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this movie.