A PARADISE LOST is an animated, live-action documentary of the incredible true story of the first animal who sued to save its kind from extinction, in the heart of the Extinction Capital of the World. A Palila bird tells his own story of survival on a volcanic Hawaiian island; escaping near extinction. He weaves a tale of how an army of humans–lawyers, scientists, conservationists and community activists–took up the mantle to protect his kind in “Palila v. Hawaii.” The film is a real-life fable of how one voice took a stand to save Nature.
In 1979, a stuffed Palila (an endangered Hawaiian finch) was Lead Plaintiff for the federal court case Palila v. Hawaiʻi. Using the newly created Endangered Species Act, the Palila and its allies won, becoming a landmark case which established the definition of “harm” to a species, stating that willful destruction to habitat protection for endangered species is as bad as killing the animal itself. Conservationists worked to restore Palila’s Maunakea habitat and today, only 1,000 birds are left on the mountain. But nearly 40 years later, the case remains open and threats to Palila’s survival still remain.
In 2020, it will be the last year that captive Palila will be released into the wild to populate a second colony of birds. Along with a small team of conservationists and volunteers, we are racing against the clock to capture this once-in-a-lifetime moment. This powerful story of one bird can save, not only it’s own, but several species of Maunakea’s forest birds from extinction. Our ultimate mission? To help people see the beauty of this bird and other native Hawaiian species and keep them alive… for good.