The Legend of Pale Male | Chicago Reader

The Legend of Pale Male

Rated NR 85 minutes 2010

This clunky but charming video documentary focuses on Pale Male, a red-tailed hawk that has nested in New York City's Central Park since the early 1990s. The nature footage is hit-or-miss, but the social observation is more consistent; the video reveals how the bird's fans project their personal issues onto Pale Male, with many—including director-narrator Frederic Lilien—speaking of the hawk as a father figure. What begins as a personal reflection on how nature empowers people becomes a document of an eccentric subculture as it internalizes grief and tries to share its idea of happiness with the rest of the world.

Film Credits

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Director: Frederic Lilien


The Legend of Pale Male

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