The Chicken/Short Fiction/2020

On an unseasonably hot day in November, Hiro, a young Japanese immigrant in New York City, decides to butcher a live chicken for dinner. Showing around his cousin Kei, who is visiting from Japan, they run into a medical emergency on the street. After the pair mishandles the situation—causing more harm than good while trying to help—Hiro cannot bring himself to kill the chicken.

Throughout, Kei observes his cousin’s new lifestyle as Hiro and his wife prepare for their move to New York’s Chinatown ahead of the birth of their first child. Kei is excited for Hiro but can not help noticing the small hypocrisies in his cousin's actions. As the day wears on, the results of Hiro and Kei’s small acts seem to insist on the ways that their lives are witness to, or complicit in, the structural violence happening all around them.

The film is an adaptation of the short story “An Afternoon On November 3rd” by Naoya Shiga, one of Japan’s most venerated writers of the early 20th century. Taking cues from the premise of Shiga’s century-old story, which gave voice to the emotional unease of witnessing a military exercise during a walk with a live duck, The Chicken expands on the ways that structural violence insidiously permeates daily life. Police presence, access to healthcare, gentrification by the well-meaning liberal middle class—the film translates the story into present-day New York through the lens of being Japanese in America.

 

starring JUNSHIN SOGA, TAIJU NAKANE, SANDRA MAREN SCHNEIDER

writer-director NEO SORA

cinematographer BILL KIRSTEIN

producers ALBERT THOLEN, AIKO MASUBUCHI, JOÃO PERIERA-WEBBER, JACKSON SEGARS, JANE JI, KENTA KOGA
editors ALBERT THOLEN, DANIEL WITKIN

World Premiere
Locarno International Film Festival 2020

Official Selection

New York Film Festival 2020

Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2021

Hamptons International Film Festival 2020

AFI Fest 2020

Indie Memphis 2020

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2020

Press

The Chicken de Neo Sora - Cahier du Cinéma, September 2020

10 Short Films Not to Miss at Locarno Film Festival - Variety

Locarno Competition Filmmaker Neo Sora Prepares Debut Feature ‘Earthquake’ - Variety

The Best Films from Locarno Shorts 2020 - Director’s Notes

What Not to Miss at the 2020 New York Film Festival - Hyperallergic

New York Stories That Play With Connection and Form Hyperallergic

NY映画祭17日から - 週間ニューヨーク生活

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