Lek and the Dogs (Ivan and the Dogs) (2018)



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Movie Info

Experimental artist and auteur Andrew Kötting creates a ground-breaking crossover between narrative film and contemporary art piece, based on the award-winning play by Hattie Naylor. The film is inspired by the true story of Ivan Mishukov, who walked out of his apartment at the age of four and spent two years living on the city streets where he was adopted by a pack of wild dogs. In a recession-ravaged city, Ivan's human world was dominated by deprivation and violence; his only hope was to turn to feral dogs for company, protection and warmth. Kötting's spellbinding and utterly original story of survival conjures the streets of decay through the eyes of a child, drawing on a range of innovative techniques, including home movies and archive to produce a montage essay on the state of the world. Lek, played by the French performance artist and actor Xavier Tchili who starred in Köttings two earlier feature films This Filthy Earth and IVUL, returns with a mesmerising performance of a man close to the edge, buried under the weight of his own existential terrors. With trace elements of Tarkovsky's Stalker and Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape the film sends the protagonist, Lek into a zone deep underground only to see him surface in the Atacama desert in Chile. Ultimately the film inhabits a foggy no-man's land between documentary and fiction, between essay and narrative whilst at the same time probing for answers to the universal questions of Where now? Who now? When now?


Critic Reviews for Lek and the Dogs (Ivan and the Dogs)

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

It is intriguing, perplexing, bemusing.

Jun 7, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A bold outing that blurs the lines between film and contemporary art, but leaves the viewer disconnected.

Aug 24, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Experimental film can be a euphemism for half-baked, but there's unorthodox and compelling architecture at play here.

Jun 27, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This thematic hodgepodge...is a mixed bag in terms of quality, too. For every riveting, eerie scene, there's another that looks like low-budget padding.

Jun 11, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Ultimately, whatever one takes from this overwhelming collage of sound and vision will be wholly personal.

Jun 10, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The focus on a social outcast allows Kötting to push Lek to the furthest periphery yet, while the play's multimedia texture prefigures his employment of various visual and formal techniques that blur recollection, imagination and warped psychology.

Jun 8, 2018 | Full Review…

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