The Central Park Effect

The Central Park Effect

Directed by: Jeffrey Kimball
60 minutes

New England Premiere


Of all the characters who pass through New York City’s Central Park each year, some of the most flamboyant have feathers, beaks, and wings. This huge, urban park is a major mecca for birds from across North America who fly over it annually on their migration routes.

THE CENTRAL PARK EFFECT follows a group of birdwatchers, ranging from teenagers to senior citizens, who make the park their hunting ground. These fans explore the park’s rambles, woods, and fields armed with cameras and nature guides. They explain the joys of their quest, the vulnerability of binoculars, and why no one gets tired of looking at a cardinal. Through their eyes, we see why Central Park’s avian tourists make New York City a little more moving, beautiful, and wild.

Central Park was designed and constructed with the mission of bringing a green heart of nature to New York. The film explores how people, birds, and other creatures fit into this elaborately engineered urban landscape. As green space in the United States decreases, large urban parks are becoming important refuges for wild animals—and for humans as well.

Director Jeffrey Kimball meshes funny, touching interviews with spectacular footage of the birds who make Central Park their temporary home in all seasons of the year.

—Anya Weber