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Directed by Iván Osnovikoff,, Bettina Perut

Chile, Germany 2018 78 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles

In the heart of Santiago, Chile, a nondescript skateboarding park abuts a sleepy residential neighborhood—not an unusual situation in most major cities. But this skatepark is different, insofar as two extremely entertaining black dogs keep permanent watch, living in the park and acting as its unofficial rulers. Interwoven with scenes of the dogs’ lives, filmmakers Osnovikoff and Perut take a unique tack by giving a sound recorder to the young people who frequent the park, letting them talk, without intervention, about their lives. This tactic teases out hard truths about growing up in the city, neatly paralleled with the dogs’ often cute but routinely difficult lives on the streets of Santiago. But the dogs are the true stars, becoming two of the most unforgettable characters of the year and reminding us that, truly, we don’t deserve dogs.

Filmography: A Man Aside (2001), Clever Monkey Pinochet versus La Moneda’s Pig (2004), La Muerte de Pinochet (2011)

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