Twelve-year-old Lily lives with her father, who has been suspended from the police force, and her stepmother. Her parents sell Lily's aging dog to Mr. Teban for dog meat. Lily convinces Mr....
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Twelve-year-old Lily lives with her father, who has been suspended from the police force, and her stepmother. Her parents sell Lily's aging dog to Mr. Teban for dog meat. Lily convinces Mr. Teban to return her dog, and the she begins a friendship with the dog meat seller, much to the disgust of her friends and family. Mr. Teban becomes her surrogate father, and supports Lily against her abusive father and ineffectual stepmother. Written by
I happened to catch this hidden gem at the Toronto Film Festival, and was
quite impressed. Azucena, or "Dog Food", is about a schoolgirl named Lily
and the friendship that develops between her and a dog butcher, whose
profession comes to an end when dog meat is banned in the town. Lily's home
life is far from ideal: her father is an abusive boor of a man who has lost
his job as a policeman, and continually takes out his frustrations on Lily
and her stepmother, who is of little help to Lily in such matters.
This film could have easily become a straightforward, dull harangue about
any one of many social problems (animal cruelty, child abuse, etc.), but
thankfully it becomes far more than that. The real subject of the film is
the cycle of cruelty it depicts; it is a study of the perpetuation of abuse
and violence through a society. "Dog Food" is probably a difficult find, but
it's definitely worth seeing.
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