His real name is Ronnie Hall. When Debra Granik was shooting WINTER’S BONE (TIFF 2011) on location in Missouri, he showed up and got a small part. But in this film, no one refers to him as Ronnie. He is Stray Dog, a bearded Vietnam vet who runs a trailer park and loves his Harley. This documentary – Granik’s first full-length film since WINTER’S BONE – follows Stray Dog, newly wed to Alicia from Mexico, dealing with the repercussions from his experiences in the war. He tries to help other veterans, and Granik accompanies him and his biker friends on their yearly trip to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.
Shot in a non-invasive style, the film has no direct questions, and no voice-over. It is a strong account of a life on the margins, but stemming from a defining moment in U.S. history. Sweet, honest and beyond cliches.