By: Addison Wylie
A tiny gem entering the mainstream circuit is Dogs on the Inside. The documentary features rescued dogs and prison inmates who look after them. Massachusetts’ Don’t Throw Us Away program gives both inmates and mistreated pups a second chance, as man and animal identify with each other. In other words: good luck trying to frown towards this film.
Dogs on the Inside is a heartwarming documentary, showing the audience just how easy it is for an emotionally crippled person to lose themselves in the doe-eyed innocence of an animal. Both parties seek the same type of companionship, and the results are moving. And as movie goers, Dogs on the Inside is just as easy to fall for as we watch the chemistry and admiration bloom.
Brean Cunningham and Douglas Seirup present a handsome looking project filled with crisp cinematography. Considering that the directorial duo (who also edited the film) are working with outside audio containing dogs barking along with other inconsistent background tone, it’s rather impressive to witness how clean the film sounds and looks.
The documentary is basically an elongated infomercial for the Don’t Throw Us Away program, but Cunningham and Seirup do their best to deter their project from being just that. The on-camera interaction along with the genuine confessions from the seemingly intimidating lugs is where the authenticity in the material glimmers. The film also does a very good job at notifying just how high – and upsetting – the population is for stray canines. I had no idea just how bad the situation is in Massachusetts, and how young the abandoned dogs are.
Dogs on the Inside keeps matters simple and happy, skipping out on details that could’ve gained the documentary more depth. However, it doesn’t feel like the film is cutting corners despite its barely-an-hour duration. Cunningham and Seirup get in and get out, and leave audiences feeling elated.