Berlinale: Programme


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A Letter To True

A LETTER TO TRUE

Filmmaker and photographer Bruce Weber is a professed animal lover. His 1994 film, GENTLE GIANTS, was all about Newfoundlanders and one of his best-known photographs is his “Self-Portrait with Cat”. His latest film is also dedicated to the world of animals; it centres on his own dogs, five Golden Retrievers, and their friends, some of whom are even film stars. Skye, Palomino and Sailor are graduates of the Actor’s Studio for dogs. The names Rain, Polar Bear, Guy and Cloud have appeared in the final credits of many a film – after all, they did receive their training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts for dogs. Others, however, where “discovered” at the pet shop – and still prefer to work without an agent. In the film’s more serious passages, Weber takes a look at the affection and loyalty, but also the almost unconditional love displayed by these animals – which the filmmaker sees as a metaphor for peace and hope in the world. In this sense, suggests Weber, we are not walking our dogs, rather they are giving us the lead.
In a highly personal commentary, Bruce Weber presents us with old film footage and photographs from his private collection; Julie Christie and
Marianne Faithfull also put in an appearance, reciting poetry. In addition, the documentary contains extracts from a home movie featuring Dirk Bogarde and a very young Elizabeth Taylor accompanied – naturally – by none other than Lassie!

USA 2003, 78 min

by

Bruce Weber