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Nik Fackler, the Omaha wunderkind/director/musician, has a new movie coming out next year called "Sick Birds Die Easy."
It's a documentary (maybe? not really?) about, well ... I'll let the official synopsis explain it:
"Exploring the worlds of white privilege, magical realism and the apocalypse, director Nik Fackler takes a drug-addled conspiracy theorist, an entitled love-drunk musician and an American film crew deep into the jungles of Western Africa, searching for Iboga, an extremely potent psychedelic plant said to have the ability to heal drug addiction. What initially begins as a trip towards enlightenment, becomes a desperate attempt at maintaining sanity."
You can watch the trailer for the film below.
Fackler has directed one other feature-length film, "Lovely, Still," which starred Martin Landau, Ellen Burstyn and Adam Scott. The film, which was shot in Omaha in 2007, didn't make much of splash, but Fackler's screenplay was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
Fackler, who directed music videos for Saddle Creek bands prior to making "Lovely, Still," is now a member of the Saddle Creek act Icky Blossoms.
Over email, Fackler answered a few questions about the film:
How did the idea for this documentary come about? Fackler: "A producer who liked 'Lovely, Still' called me while I was living in LA and was plugging away in the Hollywood industry. He offered me a small budget -- with the intent of making a small investment for a big return -- (to create) a sort of hybrid found footage movie. Like 'Paranormal Activity' or 'Blair Witch.'
"At first I wasn't that interested. But then realized that if someone offers you money to make something, you should just make it. But make sure you make something you want with it. So I took the weekend to figure out an idea.
"The idea was basically to go into the jungles of Gabon, Africa, which I hypothesized is the garden of Eden (My concept of the Garden of Eden being the place where the human naked ape's consciousness evolved from animal to man. Which I believe was from eating Iboga). Iboga is an indigenous African root bark that is highly hallucinogenic but has been used for thousands of years by the tribes there as a right of passage, initiation ritualistic experience. This sacred plant not only introduces you to the spirit world and your ancestors, but also in modern times has been bizarrely curing drug and alcohol addiction. Soooooo ... the concept was to take representatives of western culture (Babylon) -- drug addicts/entitled white people -- back to Eden to write the end of the Bible.
"The producer loved the idea and we left two months later, basically improving and following a lose idea of a script."
What happened out there?
"Lots of stuff. Everyone began to hate each other, we learned from a white shaman, we met angels and spirits, we starved, were taken advantage of, got malaria, improvised new Bible stories in the jungle, celebrated birthdays, super-glued deep cuts and wounds, burned money, wrote music, were initiated into a anarchist Bwiti tribe and introduced to conspiracy theories, aliens and religious wars that we didn't even know existed. We all had a camera and everyone filmed. When I got back to Omaha, I had a mess of Chaos and a million questions. The editing of the film answered my questions, and over two years the film was edited, and storyline was created."
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According to its Facebook page, "Sick Birds Die Easy" has a theatrical release of Feb. 11, 2014. No news yet on when (or even if) it will get an Omaha screening.
WARNING! The trailer contains some pretty harsh profanity, talk of drug use and a bunch of other weird stuff. Maybe not a trailer for work unless you have some good headphones.