JIM JENNER'S AWARD WINNING PIGEON FILMS
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Share the Blue Sky - Reviews

Share The Blue Sky: A Review
By Joe Quinn

After viewing the major contributions of Jim Jenner to the pigeon fancy it was difficult to evaluate the public impact of his documentary "Marathon in the Sky", narrated by Michael Landon. Jenner followed this masterpiece with "Oldest Feathered Friend", with an introduction by Jimmy Smits of NYPD Blue fame. This combination of creative works, based on pigeon culture, provided us with the necessary media to fight the poor image of the pigeon in the public eye.

Was there more to do in Jenner's lifelong work of presenting a different, more beautiful view of the pigeons he has loved since childhood? Well, the answer to that question is now history.

Words fail me as I attempt to review this monumental work. I often wonder how a reviewer could have paragraphed Ken Burn's now famous "The Civil War".

"Share the Blue Sky", in my opinion ranks as one of the finest documentaries ever produced. The fact its main theme is about the birds we all admire only adds to Jim Jenner's stature as a Writer/Director.
Jenner's latest work is a five hour documentary made up of twenty new stories on "the bird of peace". It involves hundreds of interviews across the world. The six video cassette [three DVD] set was developed in cooperation with Beijing Television for prime time broadcast in China this Spring. Projected figures indicate it will be seen by hundreds of millions of people.

As each fifteen minute story unfolds we learn about the personal lives of people we have read about for years. I have been privileged to know many of the pigeon folk interviewed, but have never thought to ask the questions presented here. Each of them answers so clearly how they started in pigeons and what their personal feelings are about their birds. Only in "Share the Blue Sky", could the delicate story of Chic and Judy Brooks be told. From the U.S. racing capitol, "Little Belgium" in Springhill, Florida come the voices of the real competitors.

From around the world the vision of our hobby rises at dawn. It could be a new dawning for the pigeon world. The scenes of Queen Elizabeth with her pigeons and the photography from helicopters of racing birds highlight this series. One of the final stories begin with a truth. In the episode "Give My Heart Wings" Jim Jenner has outdone himself again. My own heart took wing with each of the hundreds of pictures of children holding birds. Capturing on film children's eyes as they hold a squab tells the whole story of the Bird of Peace in our world.

I highly recommend this documentary to all pigeon lovers and their pigeon friends. And non-pigeon associated viewers find the film exciting too. A local church group near me has seen it twice, with increased enthusiasm at the second viewing.

Pigeon clubs often ask what they can do to enhance our hobby and attract new membership. Well, here is an opportunity! No school or library in a place where a pigeon club exists should be without a copy of "Share the Blue Sky", !

 

PROUD TO SHARE THE BLUE SKY
British Homing World

On reading the above heading many of you may connect with the DVD produced by Jim Jenner, aided by his many friends and associates. To be perfectly honest, when speaking to Jim at one of the National pigeon shows when I cams away with both of his DVDs, “Secrets of Champions” and “Share the Blue Sky”, I was far more excited about the “Secrets” film. After all we all like to share a few secrets, don’t we? Sure enough “Secrets” is a superb film and did not disappoint, being very educational to anyone who wishes to advance in the sport. The “Blue Sky’ somehow did not quite appeal so much perhaps it was the funny and odd looking pigeon which is on the front of the case. I really can’t say, all I know was that it ssat on my shelf for two months unopened, that is until one night when I just could not sleep. I got up and looked for something to occupy the mind of a regular insomniac. I had read all the magazines and papers, so turned somewhat unenthusiastically I must admit, to “share The Blue Sky’ and boy am I glad I did! What I watched was a masterpiece of filming which is without question head and shoulders above anything I have had the pleasure of viewing on the topic of pigeons. For once I was looking at pigeons from a completely different angle. In the past I have always been looking for a tape or DVD to help me race more successfully, considering myself a 100% racing man. This was a complete break and what a breath of fresh air, which makes me realize just how lucky I am to have my pigeons which Jim calls the “Bird of Peace’. If you stop and think about it, how else could they be described because without doubt they do bond both young and old and all walks of life, black or white or in between, it doesn’t matter, as one of the Chinese characters filmed, called Mr. Fu, says we are all “pigeon men”. In pigeons a pauper or millionaire is equal and equally respected. The three disc collection is a marathon in pigeon lore but a marathon in which I am sure all pigeon fanciers will be happy to run. So many aspects of pigeon keeping are discussed and also the countless benefits the humble rock dove has brought to the human being and his/her life. Those who despise the pigeon and call them “flying rats” should take a look at Jim’s films and I am sure they would change their stereotyped view of the bird of peace.

“Share The Blue Sky: is cleverly broken into segments which depict the fascinating world of Columbia Livia. From their heroics in the wars to the entertainment of the music in the skies of the Far East, their sporting prowess, for what other animal could fly so far and so fast for so long? I will tell you—none! The help they give to troubled teenagers in North America is a real eye-opener, not only do they educate these former dropouts but offer them a real purpose and reason to live. All in all. Blue Sky is a superbly made work which should make all pigeon lovers proud. If we are looking for a way to promote our sport then I can think of no better way to sell our great hobby to the public then to somehow televise Jenner’s works in order to let the ordinary people be educated a little on the fascinating pigeon and its contribution to the world. Even if everyone who saw a little of “Share The Blue Sky” runs out and builds/buys a pigeon loft I am convinced the general public would be won over to at least respect the humble pigeon’s right to exist in our society. The sight of Emiel Denys recalling the day he won the Golden Wing from Barcelona with his Champion pigeon Tee and how overcome with love and emotion he was, even now, 20 years later, could not fail to soften the hardest of hearts.

Jim, your work is wonderful, and has left me feeling very fortunate that I “Share The Blue Sky” with my pigeons. One thing is for sure, life would be a lot less pleasurable without them.


MIKE LAKIN