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  • Writer's pictureMichael & Richard Scire

Sarasota Film Festival - Old Dog - Quick Review

Updated: Apr 19, 2018

Documentary - Retired New Zealand farmer and dog trainer Paul Sorenson passes his knowledge to the next generation of shepherds, and reflects on the sacrifices he's made to pursue his intense passion for dogs.

Though we didn't get a chance to view

Old Dog at its World Premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival, we did get a chance to catch a screening today and wanted to make sure to post our thoughts.

Filmed in New Zealand, this documentary about Paul Sorenson, a farmer and dog trainer, is beautifully shot - relaxing to watch - with several scenes showcasing the dance-like balance between dog and handler. It's almost hypnotic at times (such as the scene of a dog wrangling ducks) - the perfect film to view at the end of the day.

At 65 minutes, it's well paced and bounces effectively between Sorensen's personal life (his wife and sons) and the dogs he works with, with a heavier focus - and rightfully so - on the dogs.

Sorenson's love for the dogs is visible from the outset. He clearly understands that he's getting just as much (if not more) out of the relationship with his pups. And although he makes his work look easy, it's obvious he's at another level. Often, he teaches fellow farmers his craft without pay, with one mentioning, "He's in it for the dogs."

And the feeling appears to be mutual. Watching the dogs at work and play, you can see it in every movement they make - in their eyes - they just want to please their handlers. Several shots showcase that bond, as Sorenson and the dogs interact on a level most of us can only dream of.

At work, it's plain to see that the dogs are doing what they were designed to do. And the same can be said for Sorenson. His compassion and love for his dogs shows that he's not just the Old Dog, he's the top dog.

Old Dog - Trailer

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