Sunday, April 18, 2021
‘Stray’ a Love Letter to Dogs Everywhere
Filmmaker Elizabeth Lo was able to find her stars every morning with the help of tracking collars.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021


Turkey has No Kill-No Capture policy toward all animals, which has led to the city of Istanbul granting stray dogs a societal place that’s inconceivable in the United States.

In short, it’s paved the way for 100,000 dogs to live on the streets of Istanbul in a way in which they’re accepted as part of the scene.

Filmmaker Elizabeth Lo took advantage of that to train her lens on a scrappy street dog named Zeytin and his two pals as they make their way around the city in a love letter to dogs that explores what it means to live without status or security.

Zeytin, fiercely independent, ventures out into the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her, while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds companions in the security guards who care for her. The strays’ disparate lives intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians who also live in abandoned construction sites on the streets.

The Sun Valley Museum of Arts will show “Stray” at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum. Tickets are $10 for SVMoA members and $12 for nonmembers. To reserve tickets, visit or call 208-726-9491.

The film, which was named Best Film in several festivals, has been described as compassionate and playful by pov, captive an immersive by filmmaker magazine and downright mesmerizing by others.

“Given that we live in a town that loves dogs, this film really called to us,” said Kristine Bretall, Director of Performing Arts at SVMoA. “A few years back, the documentary film ‘Kedi’ explored the lives of stray cats in Istanbul, and this film harkens back to that one. Seen through the eyes of three dogs navigating their lives without homes, ‘STRAY’ shows us how relationships are formed and bonds are made. And as we all long to travel, why not take a journey to Turkey through film?”

 Lo was named one of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces in 2015 after eight-minute New York Times Op Doc short “Hotel 22,” which used a similar approach to depict the homeless at a Silicon Valley.



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