Birds of America
Sunday, May 22 at 3:00 PM
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Jacques Loeuille. 2021, 80 mins. An atmospheric essay film, Birds of America retraces the steps of famed French ornithologist John James Audubon as he traveled along the Mississippi memorializing with his dramatic paintings a remarkable range of birds, many of which are now extinct. Bringing in voices that speak to colonialism, industrialization, national identity, and myth, Birds of America juxtaposes contemporary views with those of the early 19th century to reconsider what America is today. The film premiered at CPH:DOX in 2021 and went on to play at other festivals including the International Film Festival Rotterdam; this will be one of its first screenings in the U.S. Accompanied by essays by screenwriter and playwright Dorothy Fortenberry (The Handmaid’s Tale, Extrapolations) and by author and journalist Cal Flyn (Islands of Abandonment) about ecosystem collapse and how it has prompted creative envisionings of life in new landscapes.
About the writers:
Dorothy Fortenberry is a screenwriter and playwright. She is an executive producer of Extrapolations, an upcoming television series about climate change on Apple TV+. She has served as producer and writer for the Emmy Award–winning series The Handmaid’s Tale, and has also been a writer for the postapocalyptic science fiction series The 100. In addition to writing for television, Fortenberry has written several plays, including Partners and Species Native to California. Her essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Real Simple, and Pacific Standard. She is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, the 2021 laureate of the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts & Letters for outstanding work in the category of fiction writer or dramatist, and holds an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.
Cal Flyn is an award-winning writer from the Highlands of Scotland. She writes literary nonfiction and long-form journalism. Her first book, Thicker Than Water, about frontier violence in colonial Australia, was a Times book of the year. Her second book, Islands of Abandonment—about the ecology and psychology of abandoned places—is out now. It has been shortlisted for a number of prizes, including the Wainwright Prize for writing on global conservation, the British Academy Book Prize, and the Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction. Cal’s journalistic writing has been published in Granta, The Sunday Times Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, The Economist, and others.
Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / Free or discounted for MoMI members. Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.