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Documentary Film Screening of “A Thousand Cranes” and presentation with Veronica Bowers
Join us to celebrate the summer solstice with a rare screening of a very special documentary — Brian Kahn’s Award-Winning Documentary “A Thousand Cranes” followed by a presentation by Veronica Bowers of Native Songbird Care & Conservation about the role of the Laguna de Santa Rosa in the Pacific Flyway. Local writer Michele Anna Jordan will introduce the film with two brief stories, one the tale of how she tracked down its maker and another of how she saved, or helped save, 4000 ravens with just 15 minutes of work. “A Thousand Cranes” opens with the folding of hundreds of origami cranes in an effort, by a young woman with cancer, to make a thousand of the delicate paper birds, at which time, Japanese legend tells us, the folder is granted a wish by the gods. Narrated by Joanne Woodward, the film then uses the parable of the cranes to explore both the threat of nuclear annihilation and the remarkable efforts by Soviet and American scientists, who worked together to save the beautiful Siberian crane from extinction. The film is at once alarming, compelling, tender, beautiful, delightful and optimistic and shows how individuals from vastly different cultures can come together out of shared love and shared knowledge to undo damage perpetrated by humans who unknowingly threaten other species as they struggle to survive themselves. The film is appropriate for all ages. Following the screening of this exquisite film, Veronica Bowers will make a verbal and visual presentation about the role the Laguna de Santa Rosa plays in the Pacific Flyway. Light snacks will be provided during the event.
In 1987, Brian Kahn, who served as Sonoma County Supervisor for the 1st District (Sonoma Valley and East Santa Rosa) from 1977 to 1980, released “A Thousand Cranes” documentary. The film was praised worldwide and received numerous awards, including the President’s Medal at the Salerno International Film Festival. It was shown around the world but has somehow been overlooked in the digital age. This is a rare opportunity to see it. Brian currently lives in Helena, Montana, where he produces and hosts Home Ground Radio, now in its 21st year, which a listener describes as “a cumulative portrait of our culture in transition.” He is a writer, journalist, author of five books to date, and former president of the California Fish and Game Commission. For more information about his work, visit his radio website. Veronica Bowers founded Native Songbird Care & Conservation in 2004. The non-profit organization cares for over 1000 songbirds each year in a rehabilitation center located on the edge of downtown Sebastopol. Veronica’s understanding of and passion for these birds forms the foundation of this all-volunteer effort to heal and release songbirds that have been injured in their natural environment. She cares for over 60 species each year. Michele Anna Jordan, best known for her writing about food, wine, and Sonoma County, fell in love with this film when it was first released and, a few years ago, set out to find Brian when the film proved unavailable online or elsewhere. Her interested is fueled by her prodigious love of both birds and the Laguna de Santa Rosa, where she enjoys watching egrets, herons and ravens. For more information about her work, visit her website.