Pecking Order

2017 | New Zealand | NR | 88 min.


Elk Rapids Cinema Wed, Jul 19, 2017 6:00 PM
Elk Rapids Cinema Wed, Jul 19, 2017 9:00 PM
State Theatre Thu, Jul 27, 2017 12:00 PM
Central High School Auditorium Sun, Jul 30, 2017 3:00 PM
Film Info
Section:Foreign Documentary
Release Year:2017
Runtime:88 min.
Production Country:New Zealand
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Slavko Martinov
Produced by:David Brechin-Smith
Mike Kelland
Slavko Martinov
Cinematography:Mike Kelland
Editing By:Mike Kelland


This highly-entertaining crowdpleaser is “Best in Show”-meets-political-thriller, and if you take away the accents, it could just as well be set in Leelanau County. Fowl play’s afoot at the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam, and Pigeon Club. The much-maligned pigeon fanciers may be mounting a coup; the leadership style of the elderly chairman has ruffled a few feathers. Slavko Martinov (“Propaganda,” TCFF 2013) affectionately allows his subjects’ sunny-sided demeanors to shine. And the chickens are indisputably cute as they are happily soaped in kitchen sinks and blown dry by hand. Martinov frames his film as a classic countdown-to-the-big-National-Show, and it’s hard not to get caught up in all the tension and trappings, especially when the top contenders receive a bagpipe serenade on their way to the final judging area. This masterful celebration of passion, obsession, and humanity’s capacity for competitiveness is less about the birds and more about the memorable characters, from the irascible, KFC-munching chairman to the by-the-book judge who quite literally wrote the book.

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