Monday, July 16, 2012

Red Dog

The last movie of the Windrider Bay Area Film Forum was Red Dog, a movie about a small miners town in the Northwest of Australia and a dog who brought together an unlikely group of people. The movie takes place in the 1970s in the small mining town of Dampier. A Red Kelpie dog wanders into the town and into the hearts of all the people. He becomes the "common dog," which means he has no owner but belongs to everyone. Through this touching and humorous film, we see how Red Dog becomes the catalyst for each person to share their story, their pains, their struggles and their hopes.

At one point, John Grant (Josh Lucas), an American, comes to Dampier. For reasons unbeknown to him, Red Dog takes to him and follows him everywhere. They soon become best friends and everyone recognizes Red Dog as belonging to John. John falls for a young woman named Nancy (Rachael Taylor) and Red Dog takes to her as well. After a large party at which John proposes to Nancy, they take off on his motorcycle. John tells Red Dog to stay and wait for him in the morning. After dropping off Nancy, John is killed in an accident. Red Dog stays outside John's home waiting for him to return. He waits for three weeks. After that he takes off and travels all over the Northwest of Australia--traveling for years searching for John. He finally makes his way back to Dampier and finds Nancy.

This depressive, mining town brings together people from all nationalities and races. Everyone gathers around Red Dog who brings a sense of purpose and meaning to this motley crew. New life springs out of sadness and loneliness. People talk to one another, share their stories and find new meaning in life. As the screenwriter, Daniel Taplitz says, "Red Dog is a mirror of ourselves." We deal with grief and pain which is all a part of the cycle of life. Communion comes out of a shared experience and these people shared a sense of hope in life because of Red Dog.

No comments: