Man's Best Friend| 1hr : 07mins
Director: Michael Bird | Producer: Ovidiu Dunel Stancu
Focus Years: 2013 | Country: Romania
In Romania, stray dogs are everywhere. Up to two million are loose across the country, stalking the streets, playgrounds and outside hospitals, hotels, the Central Bank and the Parliament. Every year the dogs attacks tens of thousands of people and fatalities are common.
In response, the Government in Bucharest is preparing to pass a law allowing councils to mass-kill the dogs, but there is passionate resistance.
'Man's Best Friend' is an independent, micro-budget 67 minute documentary revealing a nation torn between those who love the dogs and those who want them to disappear.
Using guerrilla footage, interviews with leading experts and authorities, graphic images of capture and secret film of abuse, this is a raw look at all the sides in the battle over strays.
Solutions to the problem depicted include euthanasia of the dogs, releasing the animals in the countryside, sending them for adoption to west Europe or tranquillizing the dogs with a blow-pipe, sterilizing them and returning them to the streets.
Shot over 18 months in Bucharest, the Transylvanian countryside and cities and the Netherands, this feature shows how the stray dog crisis is a symptom of a new EU nation's struggle to find an identity 23 years after its brutal Communist dictatorship.
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