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The Natural History Of The Chicken

Airs Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Received with critical acclaim at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, "The Natural History Of The Chicken" focuses on ordinary people and their extraordinary chickens. Pictured: Emily Simpson and chicken.

Crele rooster

Above: Crele rooster

Whilst most of us know chicken from our dinner plates, few of us pause to consider this bird’s many virtues. This new film by Mark Lewis delightfully discovers how this seemingly simple animal reveals itself to be as complex as any of God’s creatures.

The stories are illustrated with narrative vignettes depicting these birds at their magical best, inspiring fascination and gentle humour. The film allows us to rethink our relationship with a creature we have previously taken for granted, while at the same time providing a lens by which we look at ourselves. It is the “natural history” for an animal like no other.

Video

Video Excerpt: Natural History Of The Chicken

Above: Most people best know the chicken from their dinner plates -- whether as thigh, wing or drumstick. Consumers barely pause a moment to consider the bird's many virtues. Filmmaker Mark Lewis expands the frontiers of popular awareness and delightfully reveals that this small, common and seemingly simple animal is as complex and grand as any of Earth's creatures.