Film

Stray

Date
Fri 19 November
Time 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Price £5

Director: Elizabeth Lo (United States, 2020, F-Rated)
Certification: 18   | 1h 12 min | Documentary | Language: Turkish with English subtitles

Through the eyes of its stray dogs wandering the streets of Istanbul, Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security. As they search for food and shelter, three dogs—Zeytin, Nazar, and Kartal—embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life. Whether they lead us into decrepit ruins or bustling streets, the gaze of strays act as windows into the overlooked corners of society: women in loveless marriages, protesters without arms, refugees without sanctuary. Through their canine eyes, we are shown a human world ruptured by divisions along class, ethnic, and gender lines. The film is both a critical observation of human civilisation through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs, and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing and being from a position of extreme marginalisation. It is at this intersection that Stray seeks to shed light on Turkey’s societal convulsions through the observations of Zeytin and her companions —both human and nonhuman.  

Elizabeth Lo is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has been broadcast and showcased internationally, including at Sundance, MoMA Museum of Modern Art, SXSW, IDFA, True/False, Tribeca, Hot Docs, New York Times Op-Docs, Field of Vision, and PBS’ POV. Elizabeth has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 List, Cannes Lion’s New Directors’ Showcase, and the artist academies of the New York Film Festival (NYFF) and Locarno Film Festival. 

Elizabeth’s debut feature documentary, Stray, won the Top Jury Prize at the Hot Docs International Film Festival and was nominated for a Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award after premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020. Most recently, Elizabeth was selected for the Concordia Studio Fellowship to develop her second feature-length film

★★★★ “The perfect night in of viewing for quarantined animal lovers”The Guardian

“Remarkable… Lo’s humane film helps us glimpse the lives of those who are often overlooked, whether they walk the streets of Istanbul on four legs or two.” – Los Angeles Times

With support from the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) awarding funds from The National Lottery.

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