Emptying the Skies


Douglas Kass and Roger Kass | USA | 2013 | 78 min
English and Italian with subtitles

West Coast Premiere

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Based on a magazine essay written in The New Yorker by best-selling novelist Jonathan Franzen, Emptying the Skies explores the wonder and slaughter of migratory songbirds in the Mediterranean. A delicacy in some Mediterranean countries, millions of birds are unlawfully killed each year for large sums on the black market. Filmmaker Roger Kass follows an intrepid squad of pan-European bird-lovers who risk their lives waging a secret war against poachers, disrupting illegal trapping and freeing as many birds as possible. Jonathan Franzen executive produces the film – his first foray into feature motion picture production – and provides a narration that goes to the heart of what it means to protect these beautiful, vulnerable birds.

“It’s The Cove for bird lovers.” – DC Metro Theater Arts


Discussion with: Roger Kass, director; Andrea Rutigliano, CABS (Committee Against Bird Slaughter); Jonathan Franzen, executive producer


Screens with:  Return Flight (Kevin White, USA, 2014, 12 min)
Meet the inspiring people who’ve worked to restore the bald eagle in Southern California in the face of pervasive DDT contamination.


Emptying the Skies: Upcoming Showtimes