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The Distant Barking of Dogs Image

The Distant Barking of Dogs

Impact | Documentaries

Two years in the life of 10-year-old orphan Oleg, his friends, his ailing caregiver grandmother and the 700 fellow residents of his village of Hnutove, less than a mile from the frontlines of the Russian-Ukrainian war, are captured in Simon Lereng Wilmont’s haunting, immersive documentary debut. Observational in nature, the film primarily follows Oleg, his cousin Yarik and the older Kostya as they roam the countryside indulging in typical boyhood antics while seemingly oblivious to the war raging around them. As their village shrinks daily due to residents fleeing for safer environs, the psychological effects of living in a war zone begin to show in the way the boys’ earlier hijinks are replaced by darker actions. And when Kostya shows up one day with a pistol, Wilmont’s camera follows the lads into some harrowing territory indeed…

"Finds beauty and horror on the bleeding edge of war… All credit to Danish documentarian Simon Lereng Wilmont for making his solo debut The Distant Barking of Dogs feel so memorably distinctive… Wilmont sensitively dramatizes the unique pressures that come with living adjacent to a war zone, presenting the physical and psychological impacts of such an upbringing on impressionable, malleable young souls… Handling his own cinematography, the director conjures some low-key magical sequences at dusk and twilight, aided by a distinctive score by Uno Helmersson and Eric Enocksson."—Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter

Best First Appearance, IDFA 17


Country of Origin: Denmark
Year: 2017
Running Time: 90 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Ukrainian with English subtitles
Executive Producer: Philippa Kowarsky, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Producer: Monica Hellström
Cinematographer: Simon Lereng Wilmont, Michael Aaglund
Editor: Michael Aaglund
Music: Uno Helmersson, Erik Enocksson
Production Company: Final Cut For Real, Mouka Filmi, Story, Bayerischer Rudfunk, Arte
Print Source: Cinephil

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