Produced by Syrian television, this film remains banned in Syria. The inhabitants of Sadad, a village in the Syrian countryside are seduced by promises that chicken farming will make them rich. After they abandon their...展开usual activities, their investment turns to disaster under the watchful gaze of government officials driving Mercedes cars. Under the guise of documenting chicken farms, the filmmaker delivers a scathing critique of his government, and foretells the massive failure of its policies which have brought poverty and hunger to its people. The original print has been restored and digitized, and subtitled in English especially for this program.
This short film is a deeply political, intelligent portrait of rural Syrian life under the Ba'athist regime; it remains banned and even if you are not familiar with Syrian politics you'll sense why – what kind of regime would like to have soundtracks from its political rallies and slogans dubbed over shots of chickens relentlessly, mindlessly pecking away at grain! This despite initially being commissioned by Syrian state TV – what were they thinking?!
Amiralay does a lot with audio in this – breaking it up, juxtaposing sections, creating eerie silences and interruptions, and the overall machine-like feel of processing that he wants to convey (people as politically manufactured). In that sense, the film is slightly more pessimistic than "Everyday Life…"; Amiralay seems to be despairing at times of people's ability to resist or disrupt the political machinery; everyone is either a small farmer, a big farmer, or a chicken!