Heart of a Dog
The terrier, which, along with Laurie, is the protagonist of the story, was a prodigy dog who would play the piano and finger paint. This was definitively a dog that left a mark on the life of Laurie.
In the documentary, there is real footage of the dog and her experiences with her owners. Other parts are played by another dog, acting as Lolabelle when she would go through the last days of her life. The acting dog in the film was trained by Elisabeth Weiss.
This drama film is a documentary, written, directed, starred, and narrated by Laurie Henderson. In it, she reflects on her life with the aforementioned terrier, Lolabelle. This is the main focus of the film.
The movie was commissioned by Arte, a Franco-German TV Station. The film features imagined scenes of Lolabelle’s passage through bardo. This turns into an opportunity to reflect on life and death.
The film also includes the protagonist´s experiences after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
It must be your understanding that, even when Heart of a Dog is about the life of an owner with her dog, the dog itself is not the center of the film. If you are sitting down to watch this nice documentary expecting to find a story about a dog, you might get disappointed.
Reception of Heart of a Dog
According to Laurie Henderson, this film was shot on her iPhone and some other small devices. The movie premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 4, 2015. Later, it was screened in the main competition of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.
Heart of a Dog was released on theater on October 21, 2015. It received pretty good reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a score of 8.1/10 with a 97% approval by reviewers.
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