Based on a true story, this beautiful, charming, funny, sad, and thought-provoking film explores one of those rare moments when man and animal unwittingly become more closely linked than nature normally allows.
Deep in the wilds of Florida, Joe Hutto, wildlife artist and naturalist, was presented with a rare opportunity. It had long been his hope to learn about the secret world of wild turkeys by having young turkey poults imprint on him, but obtaining wild turkey eggs, or young poults, had proven to be next to impossible; so when he arrived home one day to find a bowl filled with wild turkey eggs on his doorstep, he went out immediately to obtain an incubator, determined to become their mother. It was an experience that would change his life in ways he could never have imagined. He began speaking with them even before they hatched, and bonded with them in their first moments. Then, day after day, for over a year, he lived as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising 16 turkey chicks. It was a role he would learn from scratch and leave him caught up in wonder. The level of awareness and sensitivity of his young family to the world around them simply transcended anything he had experienced before. He learned their language and their ways, and in time, he became about as close to being a turkey in human skin as nature permits. Eventually, his children grew up, and Hutto had to let them go off on their own. It was harder than he ever imagined.
The journal Hutto kept of his life as a turkey ultimately became a book, entitled Illumination in the Flatwoods. His story is reenacted in this film in full, as he lived it.
Based on Hutto's book, Illuminations in the Flatlands.
Producer: David Allen
Executive Producer: Fred Kaufman, Andrew Ruhemann
Production Company: WNET; BBC; Thirteen
Production Year: 2012
Copyright Year: 2011
Talent: Joe Hutto
Subtitle Language: English (SDH)
Audio Format: Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen