to be told he cannot keep
his beloved German Shepherd dog
because Jews are not allowed to own
pets under the Third Reich in 1930s
Germany, a young boy is reunited with
Kaleb when he is separated from his
family and facing certain death in a
concentration camp in the heartbreaking Shepherd The Hero Dog...
UNDER HITLER'S THIRD REICH IN GERMANY in the 1930s, a young Jewish family
is horrified to discover they are unable to buy food from certain shops and
then that they are unable to keep any pets under the Nuremburg Law, ruthlessly
enforced during the approach to the Second World War.
The family's German Shepherd Dog, Anja, had given birth to puppies and all
except one, Kaleb, were rehomed. Ten-year-old Joshua (August Maturo) has bonded
with Kaleb and is heartbroken at the thought of being separated from him.
and gripping story;
that ultimately becomes
full of a hope and
positivity that will remain
with you long after the
their housekeeper Mathilde (Piroska Mészáros), an Aryan, is told she cannot
work for Jews and she reluctantly leaves the family but offers to take Anja
to look after. However, her husband refuses to allow her to bring Kaleb.
Neighbour Frank (Miklós Kapácsy) agrees to take Kaleb but his wife Greta (Lois
Robbins) does not like dogs and eventually, finding himself out on the street
and his family no longer living at their apartment, Kaleb joins a pack of stray
dogs that have suffered the same fate as him.
The dogs are drugged and rounded up but Kaleb is spotted as a potential guard
dog for the concentration camp and is taken in by Ralph Gossler (Ken Duken),
an official dog trainer at the camp.
Kaleb is renamed Blitz and treated well, although he is trained to capture Jews
who are trying to escape. He begins to respond to Ralph's kindness to him but
his loyalties are divided when Joshua, who has been separated from his parents
and sister, is taken to the camp. Given a job feeding the animals, including
the dogs, Joshua is warned that he must not touch the food meant for the animals
and the punishment would be death.
Joshua is caught taking food for the other prisoners and he and another prisoner
are able to escape thanks to Kaleb's ingenuity. So begins a journey of loss,
tragedy and betrayal as Joshua faces an uncertain future with the threat of
being separated from Kaleb yet again.
From the producers of Call Me By Your Name, Shepherd The Hero Dog
is a tragic, heartbreaking, emotional and gripping story; that ultimately
becomes full of a hope and positivity that will remain with you long after the
closing titles. A stark reminder of what it was like to be Jewish under the
German regime in the Second World War. Lest we forget.
Shepherd The Hero Dog also features: Ayelet Zurer as Shoshona; Ádám Porogi
as Samuel; Lee Cross as Gabriel; Kristóf Widder as Salzberg; Zsolt Páll as Walinsky;
Miklós Bérés as Lerman; Victoria Stefanovszky as Rachel Schoenman; Péter Linka
as Jürgen Klein; Gábor Nagypál as Sasha Moltovsky; Levento Molnár as Stengel;
Alexis Latham as Barach Zonnenfeld; Carna Krsul as Partisan Devorka; and Máté
Haumann as Miete.
Shepherd The Dog Hero is based on the award-winning and best-selling
Israeli novel The Jewish Dog by Asher Kravitz; Music is by Wlad Marhults;
Director of Photography is Gabor Szabo; Produced by Lynn Roth and Howard Rosenman,
Todd Harris and Craig Berenson; and Written for the screen and Directed by Lynn
Roth. The film is dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Michael Roth and Geula Roth.
* Filmed in Budapest, Hungary, Shepherd
The Hero Dog is released by Signature Entertainment in the UK on 29 June
2020. Certificate: 12 | Running Time: 94 Minutes.
"Shepherd The Hero Dog is a tragic, heartbreaking, emotional and gripping
story; that ultimately becomes full of a hope and positivity that will remain
with you long after the closing titles" ****
Maggie Woods, MotorBar