Naturalistic pet movies are a popular genre in Japan, though they rarely win theatrical distribution in the U.S. This 2004 family drama follows a Labrador retriever from birth to death, focusing on his "career" as a seeing-eye dog, and while it contains many of the cutesy-poo flourishes you'd expect (treacly music, dog reaction shots), it's surprisingly unsentimental in its depiction of people with disabilities, and the scenes of guide-dog training are informative. Yoichi Sai directed (just before making, of all things, the Takeshi Kitano crime saga Blood and Bones). In Japanese with subtitles.
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