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Friday, November 11 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Memoirs of a Plague

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2011 | 77 min | Australia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Tanzania
Filmmaker in Person | U.S. Premiere

With an opening reminiscent of a 1950s horror flick, Memoirs of a Plague brings the conventions of science-fiction bug movies to documentary. Visiting entomologists and sage locals track locust invasions in Ethiopia, Egypt, and Australia, looking for evidence of the dreaded insect in the landscape and in weather patterns. Bracing for the inevitable, farmers hunt down early signs of them in fertile seedbeds and dry riverbeds, scientists study their life cycle in the lab, schoolchildren learn early to hate them, and pilots wait for orders to drop insecticide bombs to kill them. Meanwhile, tales are told about the last time the unwelcome swarms ravaged crops and darkened the skies. Robert Nugent’s camera waits at each horizon line for the coming onslaught as preparations are made with a mishmash of outdated science and enduring folklore. Told with a storyteller’s relish for suspense, Memoirs of a Plague mixes archival footage of past plans to eradicate locusts with Nugent’s own remarkable macro-photography of the misunderstood and maligned “hopper,” which, after all, is only doing as nature intended.

Co-presented by Australian Consulate General           


http://amnh.org/programs/mead/2011/films/memoirs-plague

Filmmakers


Friday November 11, 2011 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History