Monday, June 29, 2015

Stray Dog

"I was put in a leadership position when I was far way too young to be in a leadership position. I made decisions that haunt my ass and always will," says Ron Hall of the time he served in Vietnam in Debra Granik's Stray Dog. Hall may be right, but it's easy to imagine why his commanding officers made him a leader. A tattooed mountain of a man who exudes empathy, honesty, and strength, he has shoulders broad enough for nearly everyone he comes across to lean on.

This is an art-house documentary about someone that most people who watch art-house documentaries would probably shun or make negative assumptions about at first sight. A biker whose handle is "Stray Dog" but whose cheerfully solicitous wife, Alicia, calls Ronnie, Hall soon proves to be a welcome antidote to stereotypes about burly, bearded red-state RV dwellers—starting with the fact that his beloved Alicia is Mexican and his first wife was Korean. Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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