Googled: Jeremy Zipple, SJ, ’00

Published: March 2009

Every 48 years, a species of bamboo in northeast India called “muli bamboo” flowers, and the subsequent fruits, which are roughly the size of a pear, fuel “a plague of black rats that spring from nowhere to spread destruction and famine in their wake.” Jeremy Zipple, SJ, traveled to the Indian state of Mizoram in 2008 to capture “this massive rat population explosion in the kind of vivid detail not possible in 1959, when the last invasion occurred.” The resulting documentary, “Rat Attack,” a NOVA/National Geographic Television program coproduced by Zipple, is being aired this week on public television stations.

Zipple was a Presidential Scholar at Boston College, majoring in economics and music. After graduating, he taught mathematics and music in a junior high school, served as a high school minister, performed classical and gospel music on the piano, served as co-director of a contemporary liturgical choir, and studied philosophy at Fordham University. In 2002 he entered the Jesuits.

Zipple made his first film as a high school student in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It explored race relations in his hometown, and took top prize in the 1995 Sony/American Film Instititute Visions of the U.S. young filmmakers festival. After college he owned a video production company that served clients from nonprofit organizations to Coca Cola. He coproduced and directed a feature-length documentary in 2006—Xavier: Missionary and Saint, which was narrated by Liam Neeson and released by Janson Media. For the last three years Zipple has been a producer at National Geographic Television, and currently he is developing an ethnographic documentary series on wisdom in traditional cultures.

This feature was posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 and is filed under Research.
Writer: Daniel Soyer