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Film / Boogaloo and Graham

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Boogaloo and Graham is a 2014 short film (14 minutes) directed by Michael Lennox.

Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1978—The Troubles are in full swing, with soldiers roaming the streets. But in the midst of the violence domestic life goes on. Two little boys, brothers Jamesy and Malachy, receive baby chickens as pets from their sporadically employed father (Martin McCann). Their mother (Charlene McKenna) is not very enthusiastic about having chickens in the home, but the boys love them, and they raise the birds from baby chicks to full-grown chickens. But when Mom gets pregnant again, she insists that the chickens have to go.


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Tropes:

  • Aerith and Bob: Boogaloo and Graham, the names of two chickens.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: The boys' poorly thought-out scheme of escape involves a bedsheet ladder out the window. Their parents catch them before they're out of the front yard.
  • Clucking Funny: An understated example, but two little boys toting chickens around on leashes does look pretty odd.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The opening scene has a church bell tolling in melancholy fashion somewhere, as British soldiers patrol the streets with guns out, and the boys' mother watches nervously from the window.
  • In the Back: How the IRA soldier fleeing from the British gets shot.
  • Lens Flare: From the spotlight of the army truck, revealing what presumably is an IRA soldier running down the alley—as the boys are running down the alley in the opposite direction, towards the soldier, with their chickens. The soldier gets shot.
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  • Name and Name: Boogaloo and Graham, the chickens.
  • Narrator: An adult Jamesy wryly recalling that time he and his little brother got pet chickens.
  • No Name Given: For the parents.
  • Time Passes Montage: A montage of the boys playing with their chickens and walking around with them also shows the birds growing from baby chicks to full-grown chickens.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Subverted. The mom has demanded that the chickens have to go. The father kneels down, presumably to wring their necks—and he finds an egg. An astonished Malachy blurts out, "Boogaloo has a fanny?"note  But as adult Jamesy says in his narration, his dad palmed the egg and put it there, to save the lives of the chickens.
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