The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill | Chicago Reader

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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.

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