India has the highest number of street dogs of any country on Earth. With rapid development, an intense conversation about the future of these dogs is currently taking place. Can a modern India exist with free-roaming dogs throughout its major cities? Pariah Dog is a creative documentary focusing on several eccentric individuals who care for and love these dogs in Kolkata, the former colonial capital.
Shot over three years, the film paints a kaleidoscopic picture of the city of Kolkata, seen through the prism of four outsiders and the dogs they love. The Indian Pariah dog is one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world, almost untouched by human breeding, now struggling to survive in India’s massively populated cities.
The human characters in PARIAH DOG find themselves in a similar predicament, out of place and time in a world they find uncaring and harsh. Their answer is to show compassion and love to creatures who are suffering. But this alone is not always enough to sustain them, either materially or emotionally.
Dir. Jesse Alk - 77min - Canada, USA, India - 2019
"The way Pariah Dog captures Kolkata, with its surreal scenes of everyday urban existence and sensuous shots of the city at night, reveal the curious eye of an outsider who has old ties to the place.” Film Companion
"There’s a pitiless clarity to the way the Kolkata streets are filmed: intentionally or not, they look like the world’s greatest film set, and the film serves equally well as a portrait of the metropolis. At 77 minutes, this is a brief inspection, but so heartfelt that it never seems too short." - The Guardian
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival -Winner, Best Feature