The movie

Stray

,” Lo’s sharp-eyed documentary… unspools without narration or anything like a plot. Instead, the restless rhythms of the mutts’ uncertain existence lend a poetic randomness to a movie that’s more contemplative than cute…

Length: 72 min
Country: Turkije
Language spoken: Turks
Language subtitles: Nederlands
Cast: Zeytin, Nazar, Kartal
Director: Elizabeth Lo
Release date: 2021

Description

Since Turkey made it illegal to euthanise dogs, the streets of glorious Istanbul have been home to hundreds of strays (somewhat surprisingly, the locals don’t seem too bothered), and Elizabeth Lo’s virtuosic feature documentary debut tracks the day-to-day, paw-to-mouth existence of three remarkably fearless and very insouciant mongrels named Zeytin, Nazar, and Kartal. But Lo has in mind something other than a straightforward chronicle of the trio’s existence: she uses the dogs wayward paths to illuminate the complexity of the city itself and the often difficult lives led by the people therein—especially a group of Syrian refugee children, who temporarily escape their blighted fates by frolicking with their canine friends… ‘As simple as its title and as complex as the city it briefly illuminates, “Stray,” Lo’s sharp-eyed documentary… unspools without narration or anything like a plot. Instead, the restless rhythms of the mutts’ uncertain existence lend a poetic randomness to a movie that’s more contemplative than cute… Organically and entirely without judgment, “Stray”… builds a subtle, cross-species commentary that’s more than a little melancholy… The filmmaker's eyes may rarely leave the dogs, but what she’s really looking at is us.’—Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

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