Birders: The Central Park Effect (2012)

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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 251 users   Metascore: 79/100
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A diverse group of full-of-attitude New Yorkers reveals how a hidden world of beautiful wild birds in the middle of Manhattan has upended and magically transformed their lives.



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Credited cast:
Regina Alvarez ...
Anya Auerbach ...
Mike Bryant ...
David Burg ...
Irving Cantor ...
Chris Cooper ...
Joe DiCostanzo ...
John Fitzpatrick ...
John Flicker ...
Dick Gershon ...
Catherine Hamilton ...
Harry Maas ...
Chuck McAlexander ...


Birders: The Central Park Effect reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan's celebrated patch of green and the equally colorful, full-of-attitude New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration. Acclaimed author Jonathan Franzen, an idiosyncratic trombone technician, a charming fashion-averse teenager, and a bird-tour leader who's recorded every sighting she's made since the 1940s are among the film's cast of characters. Featuring spectacular wildlife footage capturing the changing seasons, this lyrical documentary transports the viewer to a dazzling world that goes all but unnoticed by the 38 million people who visit America's most famous park each year. Written by Jeffrey Kimball, Producer/Director

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A film about birds and people.



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Release Date:

11 March 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Central Park Effect  »

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Did You Know?


Jonathan Franzen: It's the writer's life, really. It's, it's, umm... any artists' life is... failing, failing, failing, waiting around, nothing will ever work again. All the interesting birds are gone. Nature's falling apart. And then, suddenly you're seeing a Prothonotary Warbler. And all of that is forgotten, and there's this-this moment when the world's okay.
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Crazy Credits

End credits list over 100 species of birds "starring" in the film. See more »

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User Reviews

A fascinating and beautiful film - even if you've not a "birder"
19 June 2012 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at SXSW on a lark and highly recommend catching it on the big screen if at all possible. A film about birds in Central Park, and the people who watch them. It's transfixing in a deeply peaceful way. Standing out both for the incredible video footage of what must have been 100+ species of birds and the set of human stories/testimonials that accompany it. Especially those from a set of old school New Yorkers, who just happen to be birders. The film's title refers to the incredible concentration of migratory birds that stop off in Central Park. A distinctive path of green welcoming to birds as the move along the east coast from north to south. Even though the park itself is not truly natural (being an engineered creation) it makes for a fine habitat that these birds remember to return to each year. There's really not that much more to say other than to urge folks to look for it when it hits HBO in the future. Their documentary arm wisely snapped this guy up

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