Hierarchy 2008

20.52 min, Lisa Strömbeck 2008
Hierachy is filmed on the outskirts of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, where large packs of stray dogs have found their habitat. The video shows how a group of people are preparing the set for filming and lures a group of dogs to the camera by throwing large amounts of meat on the ground. What follows is an accurate study in hierarchical behaviour. The ‘alpha male’ is first on the scene, eating his fill and keeping the other dogs away until he, almost dizzy from all the food, stumbles out of camera. It is not until he has gone that the other dogs dare approach the food. They move carefully, pinching tiny bits of meat in order to devour at a distance so as not to offend their leader.