Last weekend I went to see the ‘flockumentary’, Pecking Order. It is a 2017 New Zealand comedy documentary film about competitive poultry showing. The film was shot primarily in Christchurch (NZ), focusing on poultry shows and the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club.
The trailer (above) gives the flavour of the film.
As I was watching it, I couldn’t but help think of church. Mainly older people, a few middle aged, and a sprinkling of younger ones who all, from the point of view of non-participants, are involved in a rather eccentric hobby. People at committee meetings are conscious that this hobby may very well be dying out.
The interview with the director, Slavko Martinov, reinforced my first impression of this being a parable, an allegory:
Some of the parallels: there is the seriousness with which insiders take all this – to the point of being obsessional (to the mostly amused bewilderment of the outsider); the importance of the event, of participating; and of the camaraderie involved. An enormous amount of work is required. And then, there is the politics…