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VIFF movie review: Birders: The Central Park Effect

Birders: The Central Park Effect, directed by Jeffrey Kimball

3 out of 4 stars

Birders: The Central Park Effect
Directed by
Jeffrey Kimball

This HBO documentary film (it's 60 minutes) begins with a surprising statistic: some 200 species of bird pass through Central Park every year, roughly a quarter of the total bird species found in North America. Who knew? Kimball, behind the lens, captures extraordinary images of these birds (he lists them, by the way, in the credits). Equally enrapturing are the birders themselves, including the writers Jonathan Franzen and Jonathan Rosen – contemplatively articulate in all their geeky birding glory – and especially Starr Saphir, who leads birding tours through Central Park. Her health woes remind us that life is short: you have to remember to stop and spot the rose-breasted Grosbreaks.

Sept. 29, 2 pm Granville 6; Oct. 8, 3:15 pm Granville 1; Oct. 10, 6:15 pm, Granville 4

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