Writer/Director: Jeremy Craig
Producer: Catherine Shao
Director of Photography: Zoe White
Cast: Jessica Heap, Cullen Chaffin, Dean West, and Lance Nichols
|It's been years since Fry's mom died, abandoning him in the care of his older sister Jean, who dropped out of high school in order to take care of him. Although getting by is proving more difficult than either could have imagined, things start looking up when Fry claims to have spotted an endangered ivory-billed woodpecker in the bayou near their isolated house in Terrebonne Parish. It's a discovery that qualifies them for reward money if only they can lead a researcher to a live specimen or nesting site. But when Fry, Jean and Ray, an ornithological scientist, journey into the swamp in search of the rare bird, they encounter unexpected circumstances that cause the siblings to confront the grim reality of their own endangered existence.
Terrebonne is a French term that, translated into English, means "the good earth" and strangely, as beneficent as southern Louisiana is, what is being done to her horribly brings to bear Michel de Montaigne’s words, "Who so hath his mind on taking, hath it no more on what he hath taken." In his essay on Malick’s use of landscape in Thin Red Line, Robert Silberman says that "the images of landscape throughout the film provide an unmediated, nonverbal argument for the radiant splendor of the world and the victory of faith in spirit," and this is exactly what I hope occurs in Terrebonne. Just as the main characters choose to be optimistic about their bleak future prospects, I hope their story raises awareness about the profound ecological crisis taking place in southern Louisiana and endorses the possibility of "victory of faith in spirit" by changing our destructive environmental habits and saving our wetlands not just for the next hundred years, but indeed, the next four thousand.
|Index to Ornithology|
Official website of the film
Terrebonne in Cornell Ornithology