The trailer for Stray opens with two startling and immediately compelling facts – one, that there is a no-capture, no-kill policy for stray animals in Turkey; and two, that the current population of stray dogs in Istanbul is over 100,000. That’s the bones of the premise of the upcoming documentary from filmmaker Elizabeth Lo and Magnolia Pictures, which follows three specific dogs and their lives on the streets of the bustling city.
Despite what your initial reaction to the film’s title and logline might be, the trailer quickly puts any misgivings to rest – this is not a depressing film, or even necessarily a bittersweet one. Instead, the 2-minute trailer exudes a quiet, thoughtful tone, as we follow these dogs’ interactions with each other and with the humans around them. It seems to be a film not about the struggle stray animals might face in other cities of the world, but rather about how integrated they are here, in this city, with everyday life. And it looks pretty dang good, complete with meditation on what it means to live on the edges of society.
Here’s the official synopsis:
STRAY explores what it means to live as a being without status or security, following three strays 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. Director Elizabeth Lo’s award-winning film is a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing.
Check out the trailer below. Stray debuts in theaters and on demand on March 5.