Through the eyes of its stray dogs wandering the streets of Istanbul, Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security.
As they search for food and shelter, three dogs—Zeytin, Nazar, and Kartal—embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life. Whether they lead us into decrepit ruins or bustling streets, the gaze of strays act as windows into the overlooked corners of society: women in loveless marriages, protesters without arms, refugees without sanctuary.
Through their canine eyes, we are shown a human world ruptured by divisions along class, ethnic, and gender lines. The film is both a critical observation of human civilisation through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs, and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing and being from a position of extreme marginalisation. It is at this intersection that Stray seeks to shed light on Turkey’s societal convulsions through the observations of Zeytin and her companions —both human and nonhuman.