This documentary is a portrait of a modern-day Saint Francis and his relationship with a flock of wild parrots. The location is San Francisco, where these birds, probably escaped pets, have begun to breed in the "wilds" of the city. Mark Bittner is a complex, freedom-loving misfit, a true Bohemian whose story touches those who've seen it. Over the past six years he has consulted local bird experts, and fed, named, studied, and protected the brilliant green-and-red parrots, until he's become an expert himself. The film is about Mark and his deepening relationship with the wild flock. It is about trust and how one becomes trustworthy. It is about Mark's longing for connection, for creative work and a meaningful life, and how these can arrive in unexpected packages like a flock of squabbling, acrobatic, funny parrots. The subtext of the film is Mark's relationship to other people, especially the woman he's searching for. This theme is inferred through his comments about the love lives of parrots such as Picasso and Sophie, an affectionate couple who met when they fell ill and Mark cared for them inside his cottage. The off-screen filmmaker asks the occasional devil's advocate questions: "Why won't you get a job?" "Why don't you cut your hair?" and "What's the difference between you and the pigeon lady?" The film celebrates urban wildness, Bohemian and avian, revealing a common consciousness underlying the two and showing us how important it is to have meaningful relationships within and beyond our own species.
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