In this intimate documentary, the filmmaker makes a pilgrimage to the central United States where the annual spring migration of the sandhill cranes occurs along the Platte River. As this journey unfolds, the author compares the crane migration to her own transformation as she turns forty, officially entering midlife, the point at which questions of accomplishment begin to crystalize. The sandhill crane is a bird species known to mate for life. It is one of the oldest living birds, surviving for over nine million years, and as such, might have some things to teach us about our ability, or inability, as is the case with the author, to find a lifelong mate.  She enters various bird blinds along her route to the Platte River and begins to contemplate what other sources of meaning might exist for those of us who do not mate for life, or have families in the traditional sense. The film becomes a poetic meditation on nature and art, posing essential questions about our need for both connection and solitude.

MATING FOR LIFE features spectacular footage of the ancient sandhill cranes, shot from the bird blinds on the river and the surrounding areas on the migration route. The film also features beautifully rendered, hand-drawn animations of crane behaviors, and layers of information about sandhill crane biology and habitat.