Chicken People

Directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes

In a high stakes world where a single broken feather can mean a shattered dream, CHICKEN PEOPLE follows the trials and tribulations of those who breed exotic birds in the world of competitive poultry. In the tradition of SPELLBOUND-with a little of GATES OF HEAVEN thrown in for good measure-comes a feature documentary about three remarkably rich and diverse personalities who come together to compete in their shared passion to raise the perfect chicken. The film will follow the struggles and triumphs of these characters, along with a wide array of competitors-both human and chicken-from the Ohio National Poultry Show, considered the Westminster of Chickens, to the Dixie Classic in Tennessee.


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  • ★★★★ review by Natasha Hoyland on Letterboxd

    My boyfriend: man these people are crazy

    Me: *frantically tearing down the pages of the American Standard of Perfection that I've hung up on the wall of our room* haha yeah

    This was like La La Land but instead of saving Jazz, Brian (who looks uncomfortably like one of my ex boyfriends) saved his love of chickens.

    I can't wait to see Pecking Order which is essentially the New Zealand version of this.


    Scavenger hunt 30: film 9/30

    Task 5: A film with an animal in the title/on the cover

  • ★★★½ review by Ben Levin on Letterboxd

    Eating a chicken whilst watching this was definitely a bad decision.

  • ★★★½ review by Russell Holley on Letterboxd

    There's a flashy TV-ready presentation to Chicken People that's a turn off for me, but the quirky personalities in the world of competitive chicken breeding are interesting, heartfelt, and well worth checking out.

  • ★★★★ review by Jacob Cornblatt on Letterboxd

    Chicken People is a real life Best in Show...

    ...or actually, there are things that happen in this that Christopher Guest would not have been able to write and actors certainly couldn't play.  From the chicken photographer to the romantic cruise boat photo, the subjects' jobs to Brian's look, Chicken People is gold.  The dramatic bits don't fit too well, but everything else is spot on.  I loved this.

    "Do you think you look like your chicken?"

    "Well, my chicken is 30 inches tall, so no."

    You can't make this stuff up, folks.

  • ★★★★ review by ohsofina on Letterboxd

    So, I realize that the filmmaker never knows who’s going to come out the winner when working with this kind of subject, so the films become about something else. Here, we really get to see 3 people — and see them intimately — who breed, raise, and show chickens for such different reasons. One loves chickens because they do not judge him for being so different. Another is motivated by an innate drive to engineer perfection. A third needs, desperately needs control of something in her life. These are all things that the rest of us wrestle with in our own lives, probably to lesser degrees. How big a leap is it to imagine having our lives taken over by competitive chickens? For me, a big one! But it was still a story that resonated with me, one that was told with humor and respect, and one that had a really strong narrative flow to weave the individuals together into a cohesive plot.

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