PODCAST: FRED’s Matt Micucci interviews Hélène Choquette, director of the documentary A Dog’s Life, from the 2016 One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture of the film
A dog is a man’s best friend. However, very often, a dog is much more than that. This is certainly the case for the homeless people director Helene Choquette filmed over a period of time in Canada for her latest documentary feature A Dog’s Life.
In this film, dogs also serve the purpose of shining a light on the pressing topic of homelessness, and the many different ways in which it can occur. This is a problem that materialises from different events, from drug addictions to mental illness. It is also something that doesn’t always occur on the streets; it can be found in shelters, or in cars. By focusing on the stories of individuals, Choquette humanizes the topic, and allows it to connect with the viewer in what is a very touching, opening experience.
We ask her about how she chose her protagonists, and the impact to taking her camera to their extreme conditions, filming them over a period of time. She also reveals that she wanted to keep her film “institution-free, ” opting instead for a more personal approach, which involved a lengthy issue. Finally, we ask her about her opinion on the representation of homelessness and the general media, as well as what the future holds for A Dog’s Life, which had its international premiere in Prague at the 2016 One World Film Festival.
A DOG’S LIFE: Homeless, with no family, job or belongings, but with the best possible friends in the world, for whom they are willing to sleep outside in icy weather, sharing what little they earn or beg. For 18 months this Canadian documentary tracked 10 homeless people who, thanks to the strong bonds they have with their four-legged pals, can cope better with life on the street, in a squat or shelter. Some are therapy dogs; others provide motivation to kick addiction. But all are the most faithful mates with whom these people have had a longer and stronger relationship than with any human.