Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security, following three stray dogs, residents of Istanbul, 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. (72 mn) An interview with filmmaker Elizabeth Lo will follow the film.
CRITIC’S PICK! Stray builds a subtle, cross-species commentary that’s more than a little melancholy. While never directly political, Lo’s camera is there when the animals encounter a women’s march for equality and, later, when the refugees connect with boatmen who share their own migrant past. The filmmaker’s eyes may rarely leave the dogs, but what she’s really looking at is us. -The New York Times