The ivory-billed woodpecker was thought to be extinct since the 1920s, so when sightings of the bird were reported in eastern Arkansas in 2004 and verified by the ornithology lab at Cornell University, environmentalists responded with something approaching ecstasy. The sightings were also good news for the economically depressed town of Brinkley, Arkansas, increasing tourism by nearly a third. As writer-director-editor Scott Crocker establishes in this engrossing documentary, the sightings didn’t really add up, but academic naysayers have been no match for people’s deep-seated need to believe the “King of the Woodpeckers” still lives. The movie is impressive for its sophisticated take on blind hope: believing against all odds may be a wonderful thing, Crocker implies, but when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service diverts $10 million from other conservancy programs to protect what may be a myth, other endangered species edge that much closer to becoming mythical themselves.