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The Commoners2009

  • 3.9
In 1890, a wealthy eccentric named Eugene Schieffelin collected every bird ever mentioned by Shakespeare and released them into Central Park. The only one to survive in the New World was the European Starling, now among the commonest and most despised birds in America. THE COMMONERS is an essay film about European Starlings, poetry, the rhetorical relationship between nationalism and environmentalism and the paths people forge through history as they attempt to improve the natural world.

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Member Reviews (8)

top reviewer

Extraordinary example of Darwin's theory of the adaptation and often takeover by a species of an environment. It's awfully ironic that a species of bird introduced into North America by a single human, now numbering in the hundreds of millions, can mimic each human it comes in contact with and is on the road to supplanting us....oh well, turnabout is fairplay.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

a murmuring

top reviewer

Excellent and thorough history in a short amount of time, of this overlooked (by most) class or genus, the Starling. How well this film does show that one person's notion of beauty and poetry is another's notion of vulgarity.

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top reviewer

Ms. Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" should be read alongside this.

Lovely meditation on a fascinating subject. Unusual footage of talking starlings with lots of history on the introduction of foreign wildlife in the U.S.

Beautiful film!

I found this short film to be very enlightening and informative.

Excellent. Thank you!