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The City Filled With Homeless Dogs Fighting to Survive

“You are on your own. Nothing happens to men like us because we live from day to day,” states a Chechen immigrant to homeless Syrian kids in Istanbul in Stray. Rootless, nomadic hand-to-mouth existences are at the center of director/producer/editor/cinematographer Elizabeth Lo’s documentary, but humans are merely the peripheral players in this stunning non-fiction inquiry, which truly trains its gaze on some of the myriad canines that roam the city’s streets. A spiritual companion piece to Ceyda Torun’s 2016 Kedi (which concerned the legions of cats inhabiting this same metropolis), Lo’s film reveals the secret life of dogs. In doing so, she draws stark parallels between their world and our own, and our shared desires for sustenance, comfort, and companionship.

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