A quirky short film cowritten and directed by fledgling Brazilian filmmaker Quico Meirelles—who calls himself a “political vegetarian”—has been making the rounds of film festivals and garnering rave reviews everywhere it goes. Tastes Like Chicken? tells the story of life on a factory farm from a chicken’s point of view.
The chicken, voiced with haunting, poetic poignancy by Brazilian actor Maria Flor Calaça, has a recurring dream in which she is living free on a bucolic farm.
I feel a nostalgia, longing for a life I’ve never lived.
It’s so strong! I can’t even explain.
But I am a bird! I see them flying, and I remember I’m a bird.
One day I will learn how to fly that way.
I will get closer to the sun and feel its sheer warmth.
This is a comfort to my soul.
But the chicken inevitably awakens and finds herself back in the crowded, filthy shed with thousands of her “sisters,” watching them grow unnaturally large unnaturally fast because of a cocktail of drugs and genetic manipulation.
I saw chickens dying of heart attack ….
I saw chickens being overridden.
The horror, the loneliness.
I saw thousands of chickens dying alone in the midst of 50,000 sisters.
The chicken has a vision and realizes with awful clarity exactly what fate has in store for her. But what can she do?
I don’t know how to escape….
What’s the meaning of a life like this one?
What’s the meaning of such a preprogrammed living?
Is it worth having been born to live like this?
What will become of the chicken? Will she make it out alive? Watch this powerful little film to find out.