Movie Details

In the early '90s, a red-tailed hawk built a nest on the ledge of a building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan; while hawks were hardly common in New York City, the bird became a frequent sight in Central Park, and a man from Belgium who had recently arrived in the city became fascinated with the hawk. The immigrant started following the hawk (nicknamed "Pale Male" for its gender and light coloring) and captured its movements with a video camera as the bird took on a certain celebrity status in New York. For the better part of two decades, the Belgian documented the hawk's habits as it found a mate and sired dozens of children, but "Pale Male" became a cause célèbre in 2004 when the tenants of the building where his nest was located declared their intention to remove it, as many New Yorkers stood up in defense of the bird. Filmmaker Frederic Lilien shares the story of one unusual bird and his human benefactors in the documentary The Legend of Pale Male. The film was an official selection at the 2009 Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi