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Dog Lady “A woman’s best companion!”

BY: CHIBWE AKOMBELWA

Dog Lady; directed by Laura Citarella and Verónica Llinás, explores the story of an elderly nameless lady living in the bushes of Buenos Aires with eight stray but loyal dogs as her companions.

The audience is taken on the dog lady’s silent journey across four seasons (summer, autumn, winter and spring) of her life. Citarella and Llinás’s brilliant cinematography and visuals carefully chronicle the changes of this woman’s life; from starting off with a small place to sleep – which does her no good as it doesn’t protect from the harsh weather – to her success in building herself a cleverly constructed eco-friendly home for her and her canine companions. Though many things change around her, one thing stays the same throughout the film… her silence.

The dog lady has two human friends; one female and the other male, although she remains silent during her encounters with both of them, she seems to feel comfortable and relaxed around her human companions. Her bond with her two friends reveals this lone-wolf’s sense of normality to the audience.

Nothing is physically abnormal about the dog lady, one is almost certain of the fact that she would have no trouble leading a normal life amongst others in society. This film leads the viewer to wonder what it is that leads the dog lady to live the way she does.

The crux of this feature lies in the fact that this nameless protagonist has chosen - for reasons unknown to the audience – to roam this world alone. She knows how to survive in the solitary lifestyle she has chosen to lead, however there is an overwhelming sense of loneliness about her that cannot be ignored. This is a film that is highly recommended for a mature audience as young minds might struggle to appreciate the emotional themes depicted within the film. 

Chibwe Akombelwa is a CCMS honours student. She is an aspiring author/poet/script writer; possibly a future filmmaker.

 

The 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (a special project of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Humanities, Cheryl Potgieter) with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, , KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, Gauteng Film Commission, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture and a range of other valued partners.

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