7.9/10
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47 user 54 critic

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003)

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A homeless musician finds meaning to his life when he starts a friendship with dozens of parrots.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Mark Bittner ... Himself
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Storyline

In San Francisco, there are at least two flocks of largely wild parrots who flock around the city. This film focuses on the flock of cherry-headed conures (and a lonely blue-headed one named Connor) who flock around the Telegraph Hill region of the city and their closest human companion, Mark Bittner . Through his own words, we learn of his life as a frustrated, homeless musician and how he came to live in the area where he decided to explore the nature around him. That lead him to discovering the parrot flock and the individual personalities of it. In a cinematic portrait, we are introduced to his colorful companions and the relationship they share as well as the realities of urban wild life that would change Bittner's life forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The true story of a bohemian St Francis and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild red and green parrots

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Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Дикие попугаи с Телеграф Хилл  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$104,986, 18 February 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,058,229, 11 June 2006
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The flock of wild parrots fly behind the red-tailed hawk in order to escape it. See more »

Quotes

Mark Bittner: We're all one river till we hit this cliff. That distance between the top of the cliff and the bottom of the cliff is our life. And all the individual little droplets think they really are individual little droplets until they hit the bottom, and then they're gone. But that droplet doesn't lose anything, it gains. It gains the rest of the river.
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Soundtracks

Ain't We Got Fun
Music by Richard A. Whiting (uncredited) and lyrics by Ray Egan (uncredited) and Gus Kahn (uncredited)
Performed by Jack Kerouac
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful & Entertaining
27 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a little gem of a movie that deftly combines beautiful photography with an touching story line that gains depth as the movie progresses. The comic acting of the parrots and Mark Bittners amusing narrative keep the film from total chickflickness. Fun and touching, what more do you want. And, oh yeah, it's non-fiction. Great ending!

I guess the only film that comes to mind to compare it to is Winged Migration, a big hit film (for an indy) about birds. Parrots has some great footage of the birds in question, but none of that flying with the flock sensation thatt Winged had. But what Parrots has, of course, is humanity. The relation of Mark to the birds is central to the films arc. The film also addresses the issue of humanities impact on the environment and the natural vs unnatural setting for the parrots.

Ultimately it decides, and I agree, we've changed the environment of urban areas irretrievably so let's not pretend otherwise.


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