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Year: 2004
USA: Shadow Distribution
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Mark Bittner
Parrot Stars: Connor (blue-crowned conure), Olive (mitred conure), Mingus, Picasso & Sophie, Pushkin, Tupelo (cherry-headed conures)
Urban Legends by: Ivan Stormgart, Maggie McCall, Gary Thompson, Elizabeth Wright, Jamie Yorck
Director: Judy Irving
Country: USA
USA & UK: 83 mins
USA Rated: G
USA Release Date: 4 March 2005 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 11 February 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
USA Release Date: 9 February 2005 (Limited Release - San Francisco)
UK Release Date: 9 December 2005 (Limited Release - London, ICA)
UK Distributor


Love, jealousy, divorce, single-parenting, illness and tragedy, this film has it all and yes, we're talking about the birds. Judy Irving's film tells the remarkable true story of Mark Bittner 'a Bohemian St Francis' who befriends, nurtures and protects a flock of wild green-and-red parrots in San Francisco.

Bittner, a dharma bum*, former street musician in San Francisco, makes for an articulate and engaging companion, constructing non-scientific theories about urban birdlife and providing personal histories for each of the 26 members of his winged family. As he falls in with the flock, he searches for meaning in his life, unaware that the wild parrots will bring him everything he needs. Bittner

*Dharma bum (per Gary Snyder): "A homeless seeker of truth"

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