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Director: Slavko Martinov
Cast: Doug Bain, Rhys Lilley, Mark Lilley, Brett Hawker, Sarah Bunton, Beth Inwood, Cliff Inwood, Brian Glassey, Marina Steinken, Ken Orchard, Ian Selby, Dennis Heaven, Karen Winter, Graeme Coles, Peter Whiteside, Bob Dawber, Clint O’Brien
Four stars (out of five)
And that any club would be so deep in characters, all too good to be true, had me convinced that Pecking Order (Rialto) was a mock-documentary. Well more fool me because, of course, we know truth is always stranger than fiction.
A shared love of feathered creatures and a desire to breed fine examples of the different breeds does not mean that people are going to get along. The Christchurch club has been going for 148 years and has a proud tradition of successful breeders but is it time for a shake-up?
Club president and life member Doug Bain is happy with the current set-up, but he knows that others are plotting against him; those pigeon people are always a worry.
While the documentary-makers could not believe their luck to have picked a club to film where the scent of revolution was heavy in the air, in many ways the ferment among the people detracts from the real magic of this film.
The club members know that they are crazy to devote so much time to raising champion chickens, but in their heart of hearts they think we are crazy not to be doing it too.
- Christine Powley