Ron “Stray Dog” Hall is a great-grandfather, a loving husband and an animal-lover. He is also a Vietnam veteran who still wakes up at nights screaming with terror. With his Mexican wife, Alicia, Stray Dog travels the country on his motorcycle honouring the memory of those lost in the wars.
Should the viewer harbour any prejudices towards leather-clad bikers before seeing the film, the Santa-like Stray Dog will soon crush them. He is learning Spanish through a game and speaks charming Spanglish with his wife. He tries to encourage his granddaughter to resume her studies and cares for rescued cats. There are few sights as endearing as playful kittens climbing on the big man’s leather vest.
When Stray Dog confesses to cutting off ears and making necklaces out of them during the war, it is almost impossible to think we are looking at the same man. What is clear is that all veterans encountered in the film are somehow permanently broken.
The director, Debra Granik, first became known for her fiction, Winter’s Bone, which gained four Oscar nominations and made Jennifer Lawrence a star. Her first documentary, Stray Dog, is a rich and versatile profile honouring the many dimensions of its protagonist.
Text: Sanni Myllyaho / Translation: Liina Härkönen
Languages: English, Spanish
- Director: Debra Granik
- Country: USA
- Year: 2014
- Length: 105 min
- Age limit: S
- Format: DCP
- Cinematography: Eric Phillips-Horst
- Editing: Victoria Stewart
- Audio: Peter Levin
- Music: Don Killion, Blackberry Winter
- Production: Anne Rosellini, Victoria Stewart / Still Rolling Productions
- Savoy : Friday 30.1. at 21:00
- Maxim 2: Sunday 1.2. at 21:00