22 Apr 2022
Cheryl Allison, Kathy Rogers, Mary Beth Purdy, Rusty Gragsone
A fascinating documentary about a woman who develops a friendship with a goose.
In Dallas, Texas, during COVID-19 lockdown, filmmaker Cheryl Allison discovers a goose while walking in a park, in Turtle Creek. The goose keeps following her around and appears to be enjoying her company. She repeatedly revisits the unusual waterbird and names him 'Honk' and the two of them form a rapport. She starts filming their encounters and posts them online, resulting in their friendship becoming big news on social media. However, it is discovered that Honk will not be able to survive living in the park's pond as he is a domesticated goose and the pond is hazardous due to people littering. So Cheryl decides to take him to the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a rescue organisation that specialises in the care and rehabilitation of all kinds of birds.
This is a moving and educational project that introduces the viewer to an unlikely friendship between an adult human and a goose and reveals how people work hard in order to help birds in need. Basically, the structure of the documentary is separated in two parts: one is the bond between Cheryl and Honk, how it began, how the two of them interact with each other, how Honk became a viral sensation through social media such as Instagram and the second is her decision to rescue him, by bringing him to the wildlife center, which focuses the attention to the organisation's purpose and how it operates.
There is plenty of footage that shows Cheryl interacting with Honk by the pond and she is often seen being interviewed, telling her extraordinary story and expressing how she feels about her goose friend. There is also plenty of footage of the rehabilitation center, including a variety of birds and individuals who work there, sharing with the audience what the goal of that place is. Kathy Rogers, the founder of the center is also interviewed, and listening to her story is rather inspiring. There is also webcam footage of Cheryl speaking with an associate online and it is shown using split screen.
There is beautiful and sentimental music throughout that includes a wonderful piano score and it accompanies the images quite effectively.
This is a very interesting and informative documentary that deserves praise and recognition. It explores the surprising and sweet relationship between a woman and a goose and it points out that birds have emotions. It reveals the power of social media, how things can easily become global and how people around the world can show their support online. It raises awareness about littering, how throwing rubbish in nature can be a serious threat to the animals who live there. It also promotes the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and reveals how hard people work to help birds. It is a rather memorable viewing experience.