Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

4.6 5
Director: Judy Irving

Cast: Judy Irving, Mark Bittner, Ivan Stormgart, Maggie McCall

     
 

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Telegraph Hill is a neighborhood in one of the hillier sections of San Francisco that over the years has become home to a large flock of wild parrots. While no one is certain how they got there, the birds were for the most part left to their own devices until they were discovered by Mark Bittner. A street musician and self-described "Dharma bum," Bittner had no

Overview

Telegraph Hill is a neighborhood in one of the hillier sections of San Francisco that over the years has become home to a large flock of wild parrots. While no one is certain how they got there, the birds were for the most part left to their own devices until they were discovered by Mark Bittner. A street musician and self-described "Dharma bum," Bittner had no practical background in ornithology when he first encountered the parrots, but it wasn't long before he developed a close bond with them and took it upon himself to feed and care for the birds, and even gave many of them names. Bittner's friendship with the parrots became a growing experience that taught the guitarist as much about himself as it did about the birds, and with the passage of time, his work earned him the respect of his community as well as a home. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is a documentary which recounts the story of Bittner and his birds, as well as an unexpected twist of fate which added a poignant note to their tale.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This small-scale documentary from filmmaker Judy Irving became something of a minor sensation upon its release in 2004, attracting moviegoers almost solely by word of mouth. Made with beguiling simplicity, the heartwarming film explores the principal passion of Mark Bittner, a struggling musician living in a rundown San Francisco cottage, where he looks after a flock of red-headed Conure parrots that have, inexplicably and improbably, taken up residence in the nearby trees. Bittner -- clearly an eccentric, but a gentle and lovable one -- feeds the birds, tends the sick ones, and even tries to encourage the mating of a blue-headed misfit he names Connor. There's something joyful about watching the parrots, a species of outcasts with whom our human protagonist seems to identify. Irving's camera examines them closely and before the final fadeout most viewers will root for them just as much as Mark Bittner does.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/28/2008
UPC:
0767685139820
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Video Group
Time:
5:00:00
Sales rank:
63,154

Special Features

Flock Updates; Behind the scenes; Parrots around the world; Mark Bittner and Judy Irving update; Music video: Ballad of the Brooklyn parrots; Please don't feed the birds; Urban legends; Special homage to Connor; Origins of the flock; Mark Bittner's home movies; California Quail bonus short; Original theatrical trailer; 2 new films by director Judy Irving: Christmas at the Bait Shop and 19 Arrests, No Convictions

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mark Bittner Participant
Ivan Stormgart Urban Legend
Maggie McCall Urban Legend
Gary Scott Thompson Urban Legend
Elizabeth Wright Urban Legend
Jamie Yorck Urban Legend
Jann Eyrich Mark's Neighbour
Shawn Hall Mark's Neighbour
John Aiken Lorikeet Aviary Curator of Birds
Tom Eby Mark's "Landlord"
Denise St. Onge Mark's "Landlord"
Richard Schulke Chairman, Animal Control and Welfare Commission Hearing
Betsy Lott Participant
Nate Lott Participant

Technical Credits
Judy Irving Director,Camera Operator,Editor,Producer
Sam Lehmer Sound Editor
Chris Michie Score Composer
Patrick Rickey Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
1. Introduction [6:57]
2. Mingus [8:11]
3. Connor [9:50]
4. Finding Nature [4:32]
5. Picasso and Sophie [4:26]
6. Lorikeet Aviary [6:58]
7. A New Breed [4:18]
8. Urban Legends and Hawks [8:20]
9. A Career [13:46]
10. Tupelo [6:14]
11. The Last Feeding [6:28]
12. Credits [2:58]

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The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this documentary thinking that it would be an insight into parrots, but it went beyond that. It's amazing that we don't look up sometimes to see and feel the living that occurs high in canopies of trees. It's a wonderful film of bonding of man to bird that transcends the wonders of nature. This film exceeded my expectations in a heartwarming way that proved emotions and personalities of different species (man and bird) can co-exist if given the habitat and space, even in a big city like San Francisco's Telegraph Hill.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this documentary is titled as if it is about some birds --- and it is --- it is equally about the nature of affection, challenge, mortality, empathy. It is told from the point of view of a human, with a pragmatic point of view: if these creatures behave in a recognizably human fashion, who are we to conclude that they are motivated differently? This is a touching film. Given what happens to Tupelo and Connor, the ending is quite sweet, and full of ... Hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a pleasure to see! Am going to buy for my small grandsons so they have a special appreciation for wild birds and how to treat them with dignity, respect, and love. Beautifully done. My husband and I were both so very touched...makes me want to go to SF to see these glorious creatures.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I ahven't seen the movie yet, but will be buying it. I love the book so far. Each chapter is like a short story. I live east of San Francisco and go out there often. I've heard of the flock, but hadn't seen them until about 6 months ago. What a sight to see and hear.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago