Now playing in select theaters, as well as VOD (video on demand) is the unique documentary, Stray.
The film was directed, filmed, produced and edited by Elizabeth Lo. It was also produced by Shane Boris.
The run time for this film is 72 minutes.
Stray is a unique documentary because it is filmed a lot from the dog’s perspective. Not the dog’s “point of view,” but rather the dogs are followed around the streets if Istanbul, Turkey. Viewers come along for the ride to get a peek into the lives on several stray dogs that roam freely in and around Istanbul.
Istanbul had a huge stray dog population. They used to kill stray dogs until people protested. Since 1909, it is now illegal to kill or hold captive a stray dog in Turkey. For that reason, the streets and towns in the country have thousands (if not more!) stray dogs in many different shapes, sizes, breeds, ages and health issues. From puppies to elderly dogs, Turkey is overflowing with these beautiful creatures.
Here is the official synopsis for the film;
Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security, following three strays as they embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society. Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds companions in the security guards who care for her. The strays’ disparate lives intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians with whom they share the streets. Director Elizabeth Lo’s award-winning film is a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing.
Here is the film’s official trailer.
If you are a dog lover (like me), you will appreciate this film. I want to hop on a plane, fly to Turkey, and find these dogs featured in this film and take them home with me. They are magnificent creatures and they deserve a home that will love them and care for them.
I cringed throughout the film when dogs were filmed running and out of busy streets. I cannot imagine how many are killed that way each day.
Some how the dogs are able to find sufficient food and water to live. We only see a brief glimpse into their daily lives in this film. I can only image that they might go days without food and water.
It was crazy to see beautiful stray puppies frolicking through the streets of Istanbul.
The dogs do get human interaction. Some people have befriended these dogs, and care for them whenever possible (why they don’t official “adopt” them, I don’t know). Other people are cruel to them, yelling at them and shoving them aside.
Dogs are “people pleasers.” They love humans and want their acceptance. These poor creatures rarely get that from most of the people who cross their paths. It’s heartbreaking.
Overall, I enjoyed this from a “dog lover” perspective, however, I am curious to know what happened to these dogs after filming ended. Did they find homes? Did the film makers find a way to help these dogs? These questions are not addressed or answered in this film.
I’m not sure if there was a true purpose to this film other than offer 72 minutes of filming featuring beautiful dogs.
*I received a free screener link in order to review this film. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.