Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill"

IT WAS an article about parrots that drew filmmaker Judy Irving to San Francisco, where the author, Mark Bittner, resided.

Bittner, a bearded, ponytailed, formerly homeless ex-musician, was taking care of a flock of wild conures (the correct term for parrots) on the Greenwich Steps of tony Telegraph Hill. They weren't his birds, per se, but he fed them regularly. And they kept coming back. People called him the Saint Francis of Telegraph Hill.

The filming of "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill", took 4 1/2 years, Irving says, because she was trying to capture the perfect footage of Bittner's birds

The movie, showing at Landmark's E Street Cinema (11th and E streets NW; 202-452-7672) and the Avalon Theatre (5612 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-966-6000), captures that bird's first flight, as well as other unfolding events. And it outlines the personal life journey that brought Bittner into this almost mythical relationship with his various species of conures.

It is also a book:

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