This review originally written for The Oregonian.
Stray Dogs, the 2013 film from Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang (Good Bye, Dragon Inn), is a heartbreaking work about struggle and human connections.
The story follows a family of three--father, son and daughter--getting by as best they can. Dad's alcoholism has put them on the streets.
A lonely grocery store clerk who regularly feeds the neighborhood's homeless canines meets the children in her store. They tug at her sense of charity.
Ming-liang's patient filmmaking avoids expositional narrative. In Stray Dogs, the silent scenes say more than the sparse dialogue.
The movie is at once beautiful and entrancing, ending with a staggering scene of loneliness and warmth. The stillness of those final moments is emotionally devastating, yet incredibly rewarding.