Emptying the Skies
If you want to impress your dining companions in Cyprus, it's not caviar that you order, but ambelopoulia: a tiny songbird. But as this gripping doc reveals, the cost to bring such delicacies to the table is enormous. Bestselling novelist Jonathan Franzen takes a break from the world of fiction to guide us through an all too horrifying reality: tens of millions of protected migratory songbirds are illegally killed every year. Franzen, a longtime bird lover, accompanies young staffers of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter on their expeditions. With police enforcement in Southern Europe practically non-existent, they risk their lives to rescue trapped birds, and confront hostile poachers. It's a topic that proves a cultural flashpoint -- the Cypriot landowners cannot understand why a bunch of Italians can tell them what to do on their land.