Stray Dogs

  • Fri Mar 13
  • Sun Mar 15
Stray Dogs
Tsai Ming-liang
Shiang-chyi Chen, Kang-sheng Lee, Yi Cheng Lee

A chilling portrait of homelessness and despair, Stray Dogs follows an unnamed character as he struggles to support himself and his two children. He works a terrible job holding up real estate placards on the street, and he squats in an abandoned building with his kids, one of whom has drawn a face on a cabbage in order to pretend it’s a doll. The children spend most of their time wandering around alone, eating free samples at the grocery store, giving us a stark and upsetting portrait of poverty on the streets of modern-day Taipei. The film would be difficult to watch if it weren’t so visually stunning. “[The film] sustains a hypnotic intensity anchored in exquisite cinematography that portrays the modern industrial cityscape as a chilly wasteland. We see double and triple reflections in a supermarket where a kindly clerk lets the children feast on food samples. The camera tracks family members from a distance as they inch from one end of the screen to the other. For every tableau of the people on the far horizon, there is an intimate shot of family members, bathing, brushing their teeth and urinating, sometimes in a public restroom and other times outdoors.” (NY Times) A gripping and important new work by director Tsai-Ming Liang, whose last feature, Face, was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. In Mandarin.

Cosponsored with the East Asia Program.


DCP color
2 hours 18 minutes
release year/country
2014 Taiwan