During ancient Sumerian and Mesopotamian time it was believed that divinities sent visions to their rulers to commission their city sanctuary. The statue of the king Gudea, ruler of Lagash (a region in modern-day southern Iraq), around 2200–2100 BCE was found throughout the excavation at Tello (ancient Girsu capital of Lagash) in 1881 with an imprint of the future Temple carved on the figure lap.The construction has been requested by his God, Ningirsu through a dream apparition.
The 4 and a half minutes animation "Thunderbird imagines the dialogue between Gudea and his mother Nance, the dream interpreter, to whom he seeks assistance in the translation of the vision that came to him in a dream. "Thunderbird" is as a response to the recent destruction and pillage of the Middle East’s last major archaeological sites. The animation pays hommage to the historical consciousness of the ancient Near East. Mesopotamians concealed, in the foundation of their land, elaborate architectural rituals to preserve and envision their monuments within the past, present and future, onward towards eternity.These rites of construction and preservation could be inscribed as an act of resistance against destruction.
The film began through a long dialogue and numerous exchanges with Sebastian Rey, the lead Archaeologist of the British Museum’s Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Project, an organization whose mission since 2016 is to train Iraqi archaeologists and international specialists in the site of Tello. In 2015, with co-director Fatma Husain, Rey had the honor of reopening excavations at Tello after 82 years of interrupted fieldwork.