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Parents' Guide to


By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Street dog docu promotes empathy; some strong language.

Movie NR 2021 72 minutes
Stray Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+
The language is too much over. There is a lot of positive role models.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 11+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Directed and edited by Elizabeth Lo, this film is a must-see for dog lovers and documentary fans alike. Filmed between 2017 and 2019, Stray is calming yet provocative. The three featured dogs bring out kindness in Istanbul's citizens, even while the city faces political unrest, including the 2017 women's rights march and the rise of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party. The dogs also provide an outlet of support and a family for young refugees who fled the Syrian civil war only to end up living on Turkey's streets.

The boys featured in the documentary aren't the only Syrian refugees who have become unhoused in Turkey after fleeing their home. They face constant accusations of being "glue sniffers" and are often lectured to go home or find a job. And they complain to each other about how the government won't help them. Their predicament is juxtaposed against that of the dogs, who have also been under attack by Istanbul's government, which tried to kill them until the citizens rebelled. With both sides wanting love, companionship, and acceptance, Stray exemplifies how common kindness and understanding are much more important in life than petty divisions. The film also showcases how the core of humanity is good: If a city can rise up to protect its street dogs, imagine what good the city, and others like it, could do against other ills that face us as a human collective.

Movie Details

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