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Parents' Guide to

Eli: A Dog in Prison

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Emotional docu about inmates prepping guide dogs.

Movie NR 2021 80 minutes
Eli: A Dog in Prison Poster Image

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Eli: A Dog in Prison is a beautiful, moving film about the humanity that can be brought out in all of us through our connection with animals. The directors give us touching closeups of the men while they pet Eli and proudly watch him grow and learn. We feel the love they have for the dog and see it bringing out their gentlest instincts. Burrell laments that few programs at the prison are designed to help make the prisoners better men. Even though the place's name is "correctional" facility, he sees little correcting going on. Thomas says that when you get to prison you learn to hate more. He admits his racist beliefs and works to overcome them. The filmmakers take pains to show details of prison life, including the grim regimentation, and contrast it with the goofy spontaneity a puppy brings, suggesting that a good life can be a mix of both if we can appreciate it. Original music by Heavy Color provides a lyrical accompaniment to this emotional story.

Movie Details

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