DocEdge 19 | Buddy

Netherlands | 2018 | 86 min | Dutch | Heddy Honigmann

Buddy is a sensitive exploration of the relationship between service dogs and the people they are paired with. The film clearly illustrates the importance of the animal assistance, and the emotional support these dogs provide for their humans. These people suffer from physical disabilities ranging from blindness, mobility issues, degenerative and genetic disorders, through to PTSD and autism.

Heart-warming at times, the film takes on a fleeting darkness of tone when Trevor, a sufferer of PTSD, gives a brief recount of his experience as a soldier, and some harrowing events which may have contributed to his PTSD; in addition to this he also suffers from a degenerating physical disability on-set by stepping on a landmine during his service. You develop the distinct impression day-to-day life would not be manageable for Trevor without his service dog Mister.

Honigmann effectively communicates the significance of these dog/human partnerships, using measured pacing and background score, making Buddy a must-see for animal lovers.

Screenings: Auckland 5 June, 4.30PM & 8 June, 4.15PM at the Q Theatre; and Wellington 21 June, 4.30PM & 22 June, 2.15PM at The Roxy

The 14th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 30 May – 9 June and Wellington 13 – 23 June –