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Cala, My Dog! (2003)
"Ka la shi tiao gou" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 297 users  
Reviews: 3 user

The humdrum existence of a Beijing factory worker and his family is disrupted when their beloved dog is confiscated by the police for being unlicensed. The worker has but 24 hours to raise the sizable sum required to pay the license fee.

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Title: Cala, My Dog! (2003)

Cala, My Dog! (2003) on IMDb 7.1/10

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6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Lao Er
Jiali Ding ...
Yu Lan
Bin Li ...
Liang Liang
Qinqin Li ...
Yang Li
Yu Xia
Jiaxuan Li ...
(as Min Li)
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Storyline

The humdrum existence of a Beijing factory worker and his family is disrupted when their beloved dog is confiscated by the police for being unlicensed. The worker has but 24 hours to raise the sizable sum required to pay the license fee.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Drama

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Release Date:

2 February 2003 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Cala, My Dog!  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
dogging questions
6 March 2004 | by (Palo Alto, CA, USA) – See all my reviews



Saw this as part of Cinequest 2004 in San Jose, CA, USA. I'm grateful for a chance to see a Chinese film on a large screen.

It seems to me that the director is one who embraces questions. As a result some will leave this film, feeling that it was incomplete. I'm okay with that style in the West, however, the foreign nature of Chinese society to me works for and against my appreciating this film.

If you are like me, you give a point or more to foreign films just for the inherent voyeuristic voyage. A chance to see how the other half (or 1.3 billion) live is always welcome. Our US view of China is so limited: we hear about prison driven labor for our cheap consumables, we know they use capital punishment more than we do, we read online about the things that they allegedly cannot read online and so forth.

On the flip side, questions about culture I think distract from the larger intended questions. Do people wash their feet before going to bed? Do police really go out cracking down on dog licenses and dog sellers? Does a dog license really cost more than what a factory worker would make in several months? Do women in China not typically get custody of their children in a divorce (granted there are mitigating circumstances here).

Thus, I think another viewer more familiar with day-to-day issues (such as zzman here) would perceive this as a comical film with more serious satire at work. For myself, and I assume the largely quiet audience, we saw this as a serious film, and watched it with polite distance at all times.

Meanwhile the other intended questions remain. Like how does our man Lao Er feel about his old mahjongg partner? Why is Lao Er more upset when his dog is behind bars than when his son is? Why does a more simple relationship like pet-owner allow for more "love" than a husband-wife?

I'd say see this with film with that Chinese co-worker two cubicles down at your office. I think a discussion afterward would benefit from having someone who could separate out the allegorical from the actual on screen. Or maybe talk about I just read, that the director here, Lu Xuechang, is a "sixth generation filmmaker." Wow.

I'll give this one point for every generation... Worth seeing for fans of foreign film definitely.

6/10


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