‘Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill’ shows as fund-raiser | TheUnion.com

‘Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill’ shows as fund-raiser

Saturday evening’s showing of “Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill” at the Del Oro not only will help the theater get its mural back, but will also introduce the audience to some important people: Film maker Judy Irving, the human star of the film; Mark Bittner; and local Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Snyder, who was “the actual inspiration for the whole thing in the first place,” says Bittner.

This hit documentary is nothing short of remarkable. Says one reviewer, “It is the true story of a Bohemian St. Francis and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild red-and-green parrots. Bittner, a former street musician in San Francisco, falls in with the flock as he searches for meaning in his life, unaware that the wild parrots will bring him everything he needs.”

Frame after frame shows tender moments between Bittner and his avian friends Mingus, Connor, Picasso, Sophie, Olive, Puskin and Tupelo, who fly in to be fed, nursed when ill, and then take off to swoop and dive in breathtaking aerial displays against gorgeous Bay Area views.

Bittner is a true philosopher, well-read, kind, sensitive and articulate. And he is willing to be vulnerable on film. You can’t help but love the guy.

Irving has won several awards for her documentaries, including the Grand Prize at Sundance. It is no surprise that this new documentary was one of the most talked about films at the San Francisco Film Festival. Bittner’s book of the same name has topped many local bookseller lists, including the San Francisco Chronicle’s.

One reviewer said he was mesmerized by this film. Speaking for myself, I was enchanted when allowed to have a sneak preview.

Mike Getz, who with his wife Barbara is the owner of the Del Oro, helped Irving find a national distributor for the film. Now she is helping out the community with this fund-raiser for restoring the decades-old, heart-plus-gold miner mural on the back of the theater.

Book signing and a question-and-answer period will be part of the evening.

Starting Sunday, the film continues its regular, minimum two-week run at the Del Oro Theatre at regular admission prices.

WHAT: Benefit Documentary showing of “Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill”

WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Del Oro Theatre, 165 Mill St., Grass Valley

ADMISSION: $15, which includes a small popcorn, drink and raffle ticket.

INFORMATION: Call 272-1646 after 1 p.m. Online at http://www.wildparrotsfilm.com

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