Indie Lens Pop-Up, presented by ITVS, Independent Lens and KLRN, is excited to present National Bird, a film by Sonia Kennebeck, and executive produced by Errol Morris and Wim Wenders.
The "elegantly unsettling film" (New York Times) follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. Exploring the complexities of drone warfare from a human perspective, the film gives rare insight into the American military drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors.
At the center of the film are three U.S. military veterans — Heather, Daniel, and Lisa. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, each decides to speak out publicly, regardless of the consequences. Their stories take dramatic turns, leading one of them to Afghanistan, where she learns about a tragic incident involving drone warfare. But her journey also gives hope for peace and redemption.
National Bird explores the difficult circumstances faced by military personnel involved with combat drones, the use of which has transformed modern warfare. Missions are highly classified, and there are no official counts of military or civilian casualties. The need for operators and intelligence analysts is increasing, yet their experiences and perspectives have been largely neglected because of their distance from the battlefield. While it may be true that these veterans don’t sustain battlefield injuries, their psychological wounds--both on themselves and on survivors and family members--can be substantial.
KLRN is hosting a free advanced screening and community discussion on April 13 at 6PM in the Pearl Studio, part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up Film Series. Information and RSVP available at klrn.org/indielens.
KLRN is the Emmy-Award winning Public Television station for South Central Texas broadcasting to a 30-county radius. The mission of KLRN is to use the power of communications to provide quality programs and services which advance education, culture and community, to enrich the lives of people throughout our community.
About the Filmmaker
Sonia Kennebeck is an independent documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist with more than 15 years of directing and producing experience. She has directed eight television documentaries and more than 50 investigative reports. National Bird, her first feature-length film, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival 2016 and was also selected for Tribeca, Sheffield and IDFA. Foreign Policy magazine recognized Kennebeck as one of 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016, and she was also selected as one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016 by Filmmaker Magazine. Kennebeck received a master’s degree in international affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. She was born in Malacca, Malaysia, and lives in New York, where she runs her own production company.
About Indie Lens Pop-Up
Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on PBS's Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders and organizations together to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics, to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series that features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more visit pbs.org/independentlens.