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The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

3 Ratings: 4.0
A movie

"That rare documentary that has romance, comedy and a surprise ending that makes you feel like you could fly out of the theater..."-San Jose Mercury News This remarkable movie is the true story of a Bohemian St. Francis and his remarkable relationship … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: February 9, 2005
MPAA Rating: G
1 review about The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

It's for the birds and you'll enjoy every minute of it

  • Apr 22, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
Mark Bittner came to San Francisco in the 1970s with a dream of making it as a songwriter-musician. When that dream failed him he lived on the street, taking odd jobs and exploring Eastern religions.

While living on Telegraph Hill as a caretaker, he began to notice a growing flock of wild parrots in the area. His interest in the flock grew into a passion and he befriended the birds, naming and characterizing them in his field notes.

This passion led him to write about the parrots. His book The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: A Love Story . . .with Wings was published in 2004.

The fascinating documentary "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" was released at the same time. Filmmaker Judy Irving translated Mark's passion and knowledge into astonishing footage that easily differentiates the birds and illustrates their personalities -- Connor, the odd-bird-out, a blue-crowned parrot in the country of the cherry-headed. Sophie, tenderly devoted to her mate Picasso. Mingus, the jokester. These and other birds come to life in Judy's award-winning film.

Mark also comes to life. Not trained in ornithology but completely devoted to the welfare of the flock, his eccentricity is acknowledged but not emphasized. You WILL be surprised at the ending of this film. Bring tissues for the crying, but expect to leave with a smile.

The independent theater in a nearby town showed "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" last year as a fund-raiser for the Audubon Society. I went to show solidarity with the cause, as a favor to a friend. The film was so enjoyable that I got the DVD -- supposedly for my sister-in-law who has a parrot, but really for myself. Any family would enjoy both the story and the wonderful presentation of it in this film. Highly recommended.

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