Skip to main content


USA, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Documentaries)

Director: Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis has taken the same brilliant humour he has applied to the animal kingdom in Cane Toads and The Wonderful World of Dogs in approaching his latest subject, the humble chook. This wonderful account of man's relationship with his feathered friend relates amazing events and amusing anecdotes while plumbing the psychology of chickens and some of their exceedingly strange owners.

Take the strange case of Miracle Mike, the headless chicken towed around the world as a freak of nature; never mind that it was Mike's owner who lopped off his head in the first place! Or the touching story of Lisa the perfect mother, an hilarious yarn about a chicken that laid down her own life to protect her chicks from a marauding hawk. Angry neighbours plotting to assassinate crowing cocks, ER-esque drama of emergency mouth-to-beak resuscitations and a grim look at battery farming Sublime and ridiculous. "The weird-and-wonderful aspect of the filmmaker's approach is echoed in the slightly surreal, colour drenched visuals, gorgeous shots of chickens against vibrant pastoral landscapes and imaginative use of music"—Variety.

2001 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize nominee; Golden Spire at San Francisco Film Festival

See also...

Peeping Tom

Mark Lewis recreates the unseen footage from Michael Powell's legendary, psychosexual thriller Peeping Tom. In his own version (by the same name) Lewis constructs the footage that the fictional Mark ... More »


“Rarely has an ecological menace appeared as entertaining.” - Hollywood Reporter ... Frog-marching their way across the nation for the last 75 years, these amphibian invaders have multiplied from ... More »

Death of Television

He was bored and the telly was bad. It all became just too much. ... More »

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History

This stylised off-heat documentary is thought provoking as well as entertaining because of its unusual mix of biological fact and off-the-cuff comment We see that as cane toads have spread ... More »


MIFF opened the door on Swingers with 1998's The Lifestyle. This year all secrets about open relationships and group sex parties are laid bare in Sex with Strangers. This full frontal documentary ... More »


"There are few subjects as abhorrent to our sensibilities as incest, particularly when it involves very young children. Just, Mebin chronicles a truly monstrous case. The film tells the story of an ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director