Vultures of Tibet
On the Tibetan Plateau in Western China, the material culture of a rapidly modernizing society clashes with the customs and practices of a rich spiritual tradition. The differences between Chinese secularity and the deep faith of Buddhist Tibetans are pronounced. In this film about sky burial — a sacred ritual where the bodies of the Tibetan dead are fed to wild griffon vultures — these differences are starkly portrayed.
Emptying the Skies
Just as The Cove (Mountainfilm 2009) exposed the tragic slaughtering of the dolphins of Taiji, Emptying the Skies serves European migratory songbirds with a similar purpose. Fighting the good fight against the poachers who slaughter the birds to sell to chefs are fearless activists and the novelist Jonathan Franzen, a devoted amateur ornithologist whose story in The New Yorker inspired this documentary by brothers Douglas and Roger Kass.