The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill


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Judy Irving's graceful and laid-back 2003 documentary deals with at least three subjects, separately and in conjunction with one another. One is indicated by the title: the 45 or so wild parrots from South America that have mysteriously found their way to Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. A good many of them have been befriended, as it were, by the second subject: Mark Bittner, a jobless and sometimes homeless local bohemian who teaches us a lot about them and himself. The third subject is the city--a sturdy and loving portrait of San Francisco and its people emerges from the details. The film is both wise and tender in its treatment of relationships--between birds, between people, and between birds and people. G, 83 min. Landmark's Century Centre.

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