Hot Docs 2016 Review: “A Dog`s Life” (2016) ★★★★


The issue of homelessness, whether in a big or small city, has always been and will always be a hot topic to talk about. More importantly, it’s so tremendously easy to judge someone you see standing on the streets hoping to receive a penny from you. You or someone else may ignore that person for many right reasons, but when you see a dog standing beside them, bravely and loyal as a guardian, whether you want it or not stop to ask a question. But remember, sometimes unasked question is always better than any answer. And Hélène Choquette’s “A Dog’s Life” proves that…

Hélène Choquette’s “A Dog’s Life” explores a different kind of subject that touches homelessness. She does not ask her heroes to explain the reason of ending up on the street, but, the reason why they decided to stay on the street at the harshest time of Canadian winter instead of warming up in a shelter. And the reason is – their kindest friend – a dog. Yes, only a few shelters accept pets, forcing people already isolated, full of trouble, hungry and cold to make a decision to give up their dogs for exchange of a warm place. But remember, the one who already lives dog’s life, can never abandon the one who shares the same fate, isn’t it?

However, the film still touches homelessness, but in a way that will melt your heart. It emphasizes the abuse a human being goes through because of other human beings, but receives a compassionate and unconditional love and support from their beloved pet. Most of them can’t even afford to buy food for themselves, but still manage to satisfy the hunger of their dog. One lady when she passes by askes angrily: “Why do you have a dog if you have no money and food?”. The homeless man tried to answer more or less such a difficult question, but the impatient woman did not even stop to receive the full answer. That happens because of the opportunity to judge someone always seems sweet when you have a roof and bed to sleep in.

In conclusion, “A Dog’s Life” is a documentary film with an acute subject. It will raise more questions once you watch it. However, it brings you closer to a life you will never get the chance to know, luckily. The life, where a dog and a human being share the same street to live in. How two different kind of creatures manage to support each other; to cure the loneliness and listen to each other, even when one is unable to talk. It’s truly a touching film for ones who never judge the book by its cover, but instead, tries to understand the harsh situation and admire the fact that a four-leg-animal can offer more help than any human being.

Screening time:

Wed, May 4 6:45 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

 Thu, May 5 10:15 AM Isabel Bader Theatre

Click here for more information.

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