Movie Review: Stray

Stray is a documentary by Elizabeth Lo, covering the lives of stray dogs living in Istanbul, Turkey. There is no narration and the low camera angles allow you to see experience things close to a dog’s level.

While it’s primarily about street dogs, what this movie was really about to me was the connection between dogs and people. The dogs have no formal home or owner, and yet they seek out connection with people and seem to find great comfort in their company. I imagine it feels like quite a privilege for the people these dogs choose to spend time with too.

It’s wonderful to witness the lives of dogs who live according to their own rules, eating what they want, sleeping where they want (sometimes in the middle of the road), and seeking the company of those they want. It may be the closest we can come to witnessing “natural” domestic dog behaviour.

It’s a beautifully shot movie, with little drama but plenty of story. The dogs are never shown to be at risk (which I was very worried about!) and there are many examples of lovely interactions between people and dogs.