Directed by Debra Granik • Documentary • 2016 • 102 minutes
From Debra Granik, director of the Oscar-nominated 'Winter's Bone', comes this portrait of a motorcycle-riding, freedom-loving, Vietnam veteran cast in the mold of an outlaw biker. But there's much more to burly, bearded Ronnie 'Stray Dog' Hall than meets the eye. Below the surface, Stray Dog is forever wrestling with the brutal legacy of the Vietnam War — a constant struggle of conscience, remorse, and forgiveness.
The film, shot with humility and grace, follows Stray Dog as he caravans on his Harley with fellow vets to pay tribute to their fallen brothers at the Vietnam Memorial. Meanwhile, back home in southern Missouri where he owns and operates an RV Park populated by a community on the margins, he forges a new life of domesticity with his Mexican wife Alicia.
As Stray Dog strives to be the man he wants to be for his family and community, he continues to tally the cost of war, bearing witness to the soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan — both the dead and the living.
"Stray Dog is valuable in many ways — as the sympathetic documentation of a family's perseverance in hard times; as an example of compassionate cinéma vérité; as a chance to spend time with some very interesting people — but perhaps its greatest virtue lies in its powerful, implicit challenge to the lazy habit of looking at American life through polarized red- and blue-tinted lenses." —A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Best Documentary, Los Angeles Film Festival
Best Documentary, Cleveland International Film Festival
Best Documentary, Atlanta Film Festival
Best Documentary, Twin Cities Film Festival
Best Documentary, Indie Memphis Film Festival