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May 6, 2007 at 7:00 pm

The Chances of the World Changing

With Eric Metzgar

“This is cinema verite on every scale, an epic nestled in the eternal moment…With poetic, luminous images, Chances is not just about turtles…it’s a meditation on time, mortality…”


“A triumphant film… [The Chances] stands as an object lesson in the kind of inspired things that are possible within slender means.”


“One of those special films that combines masterful filmmaking with incredibly engaging subject matter…an enchanting score…exquisitely photographed…”

International Documentary Magazine

An artist abandons his life’s work to build an ark filled with hundreds of endangered animals. A marathon story creates a new breed of dramatic nature film— about time, death,

art, love… and turtles.

Is The Chances of the World Changing an epic story about strength and hope in the face

of a global crisis? Or is it an elegy about extinction and transience? This uniquely poetic

documentary is both. The film begins in a penthouse apartment high above the urban frenzy

of New York City, where writer Richard Ogust lives among 1200 turtles and tortoises. For

years, Richard has rescued these endangered turtles from the food markets in Southeast

Asia, where an unregulated and flourishing trade keeps many turtles and tortoises at the

top of the world’s endangered species lists. In fact, the situation is so dire that it is now

considered an environmental crisis.

For two years Eric Daniel Metzgar and Nell Carden Grey documented Richard’s efforts, and

became intimately involved in the journey to save the turtles. They often stopped filming

and worked alongside Richard, and even housed turtles in their own homes. Because of this

intimacy of interaction, the film’s narrative unfolds from the inside out, discovered by

experience and imparted with passion, not statistics.

Eric Daniel Metzgar’s visual style for the film, created by his lyrical choices in

cinematography, editing, and narration, also distinguishes The Chances of the World

Changing from other social issue documentaries. Each scene is lovingly composed with an

eye for beauty, echoing the bittersweet interactions between the turtles and their human

counterparts as each struggles for survival in the face of overwhelming odds.

The Chances of the World Changing is truly a new breed of nature film– a meditation

on the spirit and devotion that fuel conservationists to defy the extinction of some the

planet’s most ancient animals.


May 6, 2007
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

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