Stray ★★½

Human Beings Live Artificially and Hypocritically and Would Do Well to Study the Dog.
In Turkey, it is illegal to kill stray dogs. So despite the government's best efforts to re-home them, they are left to roam the streets which is where this tranquil dogumentary comes in.
Stray was filmed over two years in the streets of Istanbul and follows a collection of dogs as they go about their daily lives, interacting with the people and the bustle of busy city life.
Filmed very much with a 'fly on the wall' eye, the camera does it best to keep its distance - to let the dogs decide their own path regardless of how erratic. The result is a surprisingly natural and beautifully shot piece, some of the still closeup shots are portrait-like.
An uneventful film that allows you to peer into people's lives from a different perspective, we see how the people and the animals of the city live and survive. Where the pace can be testing at times, there is a hidden beauty in Stray that many documentaries struggle to replicate.

LFF: Film 3
London Film Festival 2020: Ranked.

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