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Stray Dogs [DVD]

Agheleh Rezaie , Marziyeh Meshkini    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £5.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Agheleh Rezaie
  • Directors: Marziyeh Meshkini
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Dec 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H1QR5Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,787 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Poetic drama following the story of two homeless children who rescue a stray dog on the streets of Kabul in post-Taliban Afghanistan. When they visit the jail where their mother is a prisoner, they are permitted to stay with her for a night. But the following morning, they are thrown out: prison is for criminals, not for homeless children. Desperate to return to the jail and be with their mother, the brother and sister attempt a series of robberies, but each seems doomed to failure - until a fugitive offers them an unusual solution. The film won the Premio Open Award at the 2004 Venice Film Festival.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: Farsi ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN, SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: A thoughtful and emotionally challenging look at the lives of two children living in modern day Afghanistan, STRAY DOGS lifts the lid on what it is like living in the country, post-Taliban. The film focuses on a young brother and sister who are forced to share their incarcerated mother's prison cell by night, but roam the streets during the day. For they are homeless; only allowed to stay within the prison's confines after dark, the children are not permitted there during the day. Fed up with having to fend for themselves, and in a desperate bid to get locked up on a more permanent basis, the siblings concoct a cunning plan; using American cinema as a guide, they begin to perform robberies on the streets of Kabul. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Venice Film Festival, ...Stray Dogs ( Sag-haye velgard ) ( Chiens égarés )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Marziyeh Meshkini's latest film, STRAY DOGS, from 2004, vividly illustrates that her earlier work, THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN (2001), was no fluke - she is a filmmaker with a unique vision, with the technical abilities to translate that vision to the screen. Great filmmaking runs in the family - Marziyeh is the wife of renowned Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who has 18 features to his credit, including GABBEH (1996), A MOMENT OF INNOCENCE (1996), SILENCE (1998), and KANDAHAR (2001). Their daughter Samira has followed in the artistic footsteps of her parents, directing THE APPLE (1997), THE BLACKBOARD (1999), and 5 IN THE AFTERNOON (2003). Their son Maysam and daughter Hana have begun their own careers with shorts and documentaries. The Makhmalbaf Film School was established by Mohsen so that Iranian students interested in working with cinema would have the opportunity to learn their craft in their own country - his family members who are working in film, as well as others, have been given a chance that might well have been outside of their grasp if not for his devotion to his art.

STRAY DOGS is filled with memorable images - Marziyeh's eye, spirit, intelligence and skill work together, along with her talented team, to tell this story in such a way as to carve it into the heart and soul of the viewer. The film is set in Afghanistan, after the fall of the Taliban - the two central characters are a sister and brother, Gol-Ghotai and Zahed, respectively. Their ages are never given directly, but I would guess that she's around 7, and her brother perhaps 11. For all practical purposes, the two are war orphans - their parents are alive, but both are in prison and unable to care for the children. Their father is a Taliban mullah who has been imprisoned by the Americans.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 29 April 2011
Format:DVD
A film of great feeling, directed with a remarkable sensitivity, and giving both a sense of the daily life of Kabul, with its beauties and the basic decencies of its people, and the bitterness of a poverty exacerbated by war. This is a film that, instead of being outraged, is capable of instilling a sense of rage at the injustices of the world. This is never done by the display of atrocity, or violence, but by a setting up situations, in part with some well written dialogue, which are affecting. Key also is the use of the children as protagonists, and the children's care for a stray dog they rescue at the start of the film. Throughout, a couple of questions are repeatedly asked (among others): what makes these children different from stray dogs? How can it be that they can take pity on a dog, while no one takes pity on them? The film has some Shakespearean qualities, not only in deftly presenting the madness of their world, but also, and more affectingly, seeing 'going mad' as the expression of proper feeling. There is also a convincing sense of an understanding of the wanton cruelty that goes with powerlessness.

At the film's heart lies the struggle of a brother and sister to stay with their imprisoned mother. This is possible at the beginning of the film, when they are allowed in the prison at night, but then the prison governor forbids this practice, forcing them first to sleep rough, and then to try to get into prison by being arrested. Other plots are interwoven. Their mother sends them to plead for her release to their father, who has had her jailed for marrying while he was away fighting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly stunning 30 Nov 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film has been excellently reviewed above and all I can add is that the outstanding photography in this film left me with images more powerful and lingering than anything I have ever seen in a Hollywood film.
The amateur actors, the sets, the story, the tension and power of the children's performance. I can think of no better contemporary film. And it has stood up to five viewings already.

Package is simple - written notes and commentary. Not that this film needs any extras. Sound great.

It occupies pride of place in my collection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Barbarians all ? 9 Dec 2011
Format:DVD
I am afraid that I was extremely disappointed by this film, which more or less depicted all the Afghan people as cruel and evil barbarians, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The gratuitous dog-fighting episode seemed designed to emphasize this.
It was set, according to the box, in the post-Taliban era. Were we supposed to believe that things were worse under the Taliban?
I really cannot believe that they were, for they, at least, had some sort of organization, unlike the chaos shown here.
Like the three star reviewer, I found myself almost completely uninvolved with the characters, as to me, the children really showed little emotion, as if they were just reading their lines, but not feeling them.
The "Fluffy Dog" yapped far too much as well, and would surely have annoyed the Afghans just as much as it annoyed me.
This compares very unfavorably with Chinese films about children, where the young actors really "live" their roles
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