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The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill [2003] [DVD]

 Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 6.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Producers: Chris Michie
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Drakes Avenue
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jun 2006
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6IIIU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,142 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Documentary about street musician Mark Bittner, who took to caring for and studying the large flock of wild parrots that congregates on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. While no one knows how the parrots got there in the first place, Bittner gradually began to form a bond with the birds, teaching him more about himself, and earning him the respect of the community.


Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ''He's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,'' 11 Aug 2006
By A Customer
Format:DVD
In this moving expose of man and his relationship with animals, filmmaker Judy Irving follows ex counter culture rock and roller Mark Bittner as he cares for a flock of wild, cherry-crowned parrots. Mark arrived in San Francisco sometime at the end of the hippie era with the illusion of becoming a rock musician.

That was in the 1970s and he has been homeless and jobless since. Relying on the kindness of others - the owner of the local café gives him free coffee and food - Mark has eked out a life for himself in a shack on Nob Hill and has found his calling through the parrots he so lovingly adores. He knows each bird by name and tends to those either ill or injured.

Irving depicts a fascinating community of birds, including the feathered lovers Picasso and Sophie, the ailing Tupelo, and Mingus, a cantankerous conure who nests under the birdman's bed. There's also the flock's blue-crowned conure, Connor, a loner and outcast who symbolically mirrors Bittner. And the close-ups of the blinking parrots, with their bright green backs, red or blue heads and high-handed beaks, are indeed gorgeous.

Picasso and Sophie have been partners for many years, breaking up occasionally when one gets mad at the other. Mingus has a nest in Bittner's small cottage. It's a mystery how these parrots got to San Francisco from their native South America - and there are various urban legends, which try to explain this - but Bittner knows four were the starters of the flock. By now all the birds have well and truly adapted to the colder climate of northern California.

It is to the credit of Irving that she depicts Bittner as a sensitive thinking man and he draws some startling and very spiritual conclusions about our relationships with animals.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly High 10 Jan 2008
Format:DVD
San Francisco is a one of a kind city. I fell in love with the spirit of the city long before I ever visited and once there fell in love with it all over again.

There are so many things about the city that people can associate with and although it is quite a bit of a tourist mecca there is much more to the life of the city than meets the eye.

It was in this spirit that I approached thiis film, having been referred to it on my last visit where I took an alternative route up and down from Coit Tower involving many, many steps.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill has a certain charm and naievete much like the city where it was shot. Perhaps San Francisco is the only city in the world where wild birds could bring about a career from nothing from a self-confessed Dharma Bum.

Beautifully shot with considerable care and obvious affection for each and every one of the subjects including the humans, this beautiful little movie is full of life and hope. If there was ever a spirit of the sixties it lives on in the tolerance the locals have for the birds and their admirers and perhaps there is a lesson for all environmentalists here in the faceof global warming.

It is a beautiful and at once a sad tale and throughout we come to recognise the individual birds almost as people with whom we share some growing up time.

If anything it is a film which celebrates the uniqueness of San Francisco and it's many inhabitants which makes it quite unlike any other city on this earth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly High 10 Jan 2008
Format:DVD
San Francisco is a one of a kind city. I fell in love with the spirit of the city long before I ever visited and once there fell in love with it all over again.

There are so many things about the city that people can associate with and although it is quite a bit of a tourist mecca there is much more to the life of the city than meets the eye.

It was in this spirit that I approached thiis film, having been referred to it on my last visit where I took an alternative route up and down from Coit Tower involving many, many steps.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill has a certain charm and naievete much like the city where it was shot. Perhaps San Francisco is the only city in the world where wild birds could bring about a career from nothing from a self-confessed Dharma Bum.

Beautifully shot with considerable care and obvious affection for each and every one of the subjects including the humans, this beautiful little movie is full of life and hope. If there was ever a spirit of the sixties it lives on in the tolerance the locals have for the birds and their admirers and perhaps there is a lesson for all environmentalists here in the faceof global warming.

It is a beautiful and at once a sad tale and throughout we come to recognise the individual birds almost as people with whom we share some growing up time.

If anything it is a film which celebrates the uniqueness of San Francisco and it's many inhabitants which makes it quite unlike any other city on this earth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exellent DVD DOcumentary type film 9 Jun 2012
By JusDave
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having read the book and being parrot owners and also having been to California and visited Telegraph Hill I just had to have the DVD too!

It shows how we can build a close and loving relationship with a species that has become wild again and how through trust and observation close bonds gained between flock members, humans and those special little relationships that can develop.

Anyone who plans a visit to San Francisco and likes birds, get this and watch and find the time to visit Telegraph Hill. It is a wonderful place and a great guy and character who started all this off. Mark Bittner come from humble beginnings and through many uphill struggles maintained his links with these colourful birds and which is a credit to him and the work he has done as well as profiling the flock in its wild state and protecting it.

An inspirational film, gripping from start to end and worth a sit and watch. As a parrot ower of 4 birds it re-enforces to us how smart these guys are and are not to just be shoved in a cage and left. A great DVD and the book is a good read too. :o)
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