Doggy Love Image

Doggy Love

By Bradley Gibson | February 7, 2022

As we ponder the miserable fate of the innocent canines, Doggy Love shines a light on Yassi. Ghaffari grabs the viewer by the throat with an unsubtle comparison of the status of dogs to women’s rights in Iran. Women have no legal protection against domestic violence or sexual harassment by anyone, and the constitution does not contain a non-discrimination clause with gender as a protected category. Dogmatic fervor has led to a rash of “honor killings” when a family decides a woman has embarrassed them.

By Western standards, living under Sharia law is unacceptably extreme. That is unless you are one of the men making, interpreting, or enforcing those laws. Yassi’s situation with Aslan is a perfect example of the plight of women under Sharia law. Aslan’s intentions are all good and in line with his beliefs and culture, yet he still feels he should have patriarchal rights over Yassi. He seems aware of this contradiction and says so, but his comments are like a fish criticizing water. They are both products of the culture, and neither has a say in the matter. Yassi loves the dogs and is dedicated to the work at the shelter. She’s fond of Aslan but ambivalent about anything other than friendship with him. Aslan is desperate to win her over, and he also loves the dogs. They are both deep in the pathos of human chaos, compounded by the oppressive regime that dictates the boundaries of their lives.

“…grabs the viewer by the throat…”

Generally speaking, one should avoid criticisms of other forms of government and religious expression in the interest of cultural openness and sensitivity. However, some human and animal rights abuses go so far beyond the pale that they cross cultural boundaries and should be called out. At just slightly over an hour-long, Doggy Love delivers this message in an amazing, compressed way.

Note: If the government of Iran reads reviews on Film Threat, then I look forward to my fatwa. I’d be in good company with the likes of Salman Rushdie. Come at me, bro.

Doggy Love screened at the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival.

Doggy Love (2022)

Directed and Written: Mahmoud Ghaffari

Starring: Yassi, Aslan, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Doggy Love Image

"…a Sisyphean act of open defiance..."

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