DOCUMENTARY: THE DOG

 

In 1972, John Wojtowicz walked into a Brooklyn bank with two accomplices. The inexpert attempted robbery that followed went awry and became a 14 hour hostage situation which was televised live and quickly escalated into a media circus. Thousands of people came to the scene of the crime to watch it unfold as it happened, reporters called the bank and spoke to the robbers, pizzas were ordered, one of the partners was shot dead and Wojtowicz would come in and out of the bank to see the show outside and negotiate with the police. The scandal became sensational due to the motive of the robbery: to fund his partner’s sex-reassignment surgery.  The event was later turned into Hollywood movie Dog Day Afternoon, starrring Al Pacino.

In  2002, Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren began filming their documentary The Dog, investigating the people and circumstances surrounding the event and its main protagonist. The film follows John Wojtowicz in the last 4 years of his life as he tells his story. His mother and ex wife share their perspective along with his transgendered lover, his jailhouse wife and lawyer, and reporters who had been involved in covering the story throughout the years. The candor of the interviews and amazing archival footage make this documentary captivating.

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