Film: Stray (18)

A still from Elisabeth Lo's Stray

A still from Elisabeth Lo's Stray - Credit: Supplied

Possibly the worst job in the world was operating the camera on this observational documentary following a stray dog around the streets of Istanbul.

Most of your working life was spent trailing tan labrador Zeytin around some of the less salubrious parts of the city, usually aiming your camera at a dog's backside and often having crowds of people watching you following a dog's backside around a city. So it's only fair that director Lo did the camerawork herself.

A quote from Diogenes opens the film: “Human beings live artificially and hypocritically and would do well to study the dog."

The film though is more interested in the human activity surrounding Zeytin: Erdogan's campaign to get more power, a women's demonstration, a man criticising his girlfriend for following a man on Instagram and, most of all, a group of glue-sniffing homeless refugee kids from Aleppo.

A still from Elisabeth Lo's film Stray

A still from Elisabeth Lo's film Stray - Credit: Elisabeth Lo

It certainly has novelty and is technically accomplished, but seventy-two minutes is a long time to watch canines do their business, fight over bones and sniff each other's genitals. It isn't just the dogs that stray it's your concentration. 3/5 stars.


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Directed by Elisabeth Lo. Featuring Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal. Available digitally including Dogwoof On Demand from March 26. Running time: 72 mins.

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