A Stray (2016)
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Despite the touchy subject matter, Syeed avoids preaching and instead focuses on the protagonist's day-to-day struggle; the understated drama benefits also from Yoni Brook's crisp cinematography and Abdirahman's multifaceted performance.
In addition to being a tender film about a man finding redemption in caring for a canine, Syeed's pious film is refreshing, showing us a corner of America that we never see.
The substantial pleasures of the movie are supplemented by the gratification of seeing an emerging talent with concerns far outside the conventional indie realm asserting himself with such authority.
Most of the turns of plot feel organic, ours to discover, as long as we're paying attention.
The writer-director's seemingly random yet never aimless narrative avoids predictable sentimental notes as well as any explicit backstory, leaving us to fill in the blanks.
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