By Hannah Scott-Talib
Heddy Honigmann’s 2018 film Buddy is a heart-warming montage that delves into the relationship between people with disabilities and their guide dogs. Following multiple subjects through their day-to-day lives, this documentary, which played at the Wakefield Doc Fest this fall and now screens at the ByTowne, sheds light on the incredible bond between dog and owner, exploring the ways that people have had to adapt to new lifestyles due to their disabilities and how their canine companions play a major role in all of it. Honigmann asks her subjects the question: what is it like having to depend on and live so closely with these animals every day of their lives?
This film showcases a series of touching stories, all the while avoiding the classic feel-good movie cliché. Honigmann’s portrayal of each situation is both captivating and artistic—each scene has a different story to tell, or presents a new perspective of the same story, and her simple yet effective filming style is a perfect fit for the documentary. Each tale offers a new set of dogs and owners and a new and beautiful relationship, allowing viewers to see just how many people’s lives are influenced by these animals.
Buddy shows us, first hand, that so many people across the globe have developed a special and meaningful connection with their guide dogs, and it’s all raw, credible footage: no exaggerations, no misrepresentations—Honigmann tells it how it is, and that’s what gives her film an edge, that’s what differentiates it from others.
Buddy is screening at the ByTowne Cinema on Wednesday November 27 at 6:55pm and Thursday November 28 at 4:30pm. Tickets cost $8–12 at the box office. Visit bytowne.ca for the complete schedule.