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The Chicken

Short, Drama 13m 2020

On a peculiarly hot November afternoon, a young Japanese immigrant named Hiro (Junshin Soga) welcomes his cousin Kei (Taiju Nakane) to New York City. Scouting out a new apartment in Chinatown, Hiro takes Kei along for the ride and, on a whim, decides to buy a live chicken to butcher for dinner. As they traverse the city, the pair are shaken up by a medical emergency on the street that brings to relief their unwitting complicity in everyday instances of structural violence—and upsets Hiro’s dinner plans. Gorgeously shot on 16mm, Neo Sora’s deftly directed short film reinterprets a century-old short story by Naoya Shiga to offer pointed commentary on contemporary life.

  • Official Selection, 2020 Locarno International Film Festival (Pardi di Domani Competition)
  • Official Selection, 2020 New York Film Festival (New York Stories)

“The strength of The Chicken … is that it makes us believe that everything is taking place on a purely existential level (a “slice of life” broadening into a “moral tale”) when it is really operating deep in the waters of the subconscious.” —Cahiers du Cinéma

“A sweet, day-in-the-life-in-the-city journey that becomes unforgettable by dinner’s end.” —Hyperallergic

Streaming in the U.S. from February 5-11 as part of 21st Century Japan: Films from 2001-2020

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Neo Sora


In English and Japanese with English and Japanese subtitles

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