Notebook

A Dog’s Life

Elizabeth Lo’s film Stray is stirring and impressive. Ostensibly recounting a dog’s life in Istanbul, wittily interspersed with ancient quotations about the interface of human and canine existence, it in fact proposes a probing account of our world’s values, or lack of such.

Dogs provide a lens through which to contemplate human society. Through them we see human beings – children – treated like stray dogs. The stark absence of sentiment only makes Lo’s statement clearer. She calls her work ‘a critical observation of human civilisation’.

Sometimes it takes animals to recall us to our humanity. Thank God we’ve got them.