Short Film Profile


In an attempt to save money on her tropical vacation, a savvy New Yorker invites a German tourist to share a cab in search of the perfect ocean view to spend her last night. With the mosquitoes and heat, neither can sleep and end up sharing secrets under the stars: He hasn't kissed a girl in three years. She hasn't slept with anyone since her ex. She proposes a kiss, triggering a long and awkward night of sex. The twosome finally let down their guard and share a moment of true intimacy, only to part the very next day.

Film notes

Director's Statement:
Unemployed for over a year, I traveled abroad and felt brief intense connections with strangers that in some cases were more valid and life changing that my longer term relationships and friendships. Chicken is a modern day fairytale that explores a genuine honest connection between two strangers at different places in their lives who both struggle with intimacy. I flipped the archetypical story of a women losing her virginity or a man de-virginizing a woman and dared to tell the tale from the POV of a woman de-virginizing a man. I didn’t name the characters beyond American tourist and German tourist to further emphasize the universality of the story. I bookended the film with a single song about love and pain to craft a fairytale framework of which to view the film. The female and male vocals brilliantly reflect the voices of the two characters while commenting on the story, similar to how a Greek chorus comments on a play. In addition to directing and writing Chicken, I felt it was important to act in it so I could explore temporary intimacy on a visceral level. Most of the film is purposefully shot with minimal camera movement to emphasize the static and shame of the characters’ interior worlds. Towards the end, when the twosome finally leaves their room and says goodbye on the beach, I switched to hand held camera movement to accentuate their emotional release and freedom. I purposefully chose a location that could be a tropical beach anywhere in the world to allow space for the viewer to insert his/her own private experiences of travel into the film.




Copyright © 2012 Jessica Sue Burstein

Previous screenings

12 Apr – 28 Apr | Tucson, United States
Cape Fear Independent Film Festival | 2013
9 May – 12 May | Wilmington, United States

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 13 Jun 2012