Tashkafa (full: Tashkafa: Stories of the Street) is a single-episodic documentary based on the lives of street dogs taken care of by the lane-residents of the city of Istanbul, Turkey.

The story has been scripted by English art critic, John Berger, who is also the narrator of the documentary.

Plot & Direction[edit | edit source]

Despite several major attempts by Istanbul's rulers, politicians and planners over the last 400 years to erase them, the city’s street dogs have persisted thanks to an enduring alliance with widespread civilian communities, which recognize and defend their right to co-exist.

Taskafa gathers the voices of diverse Istanbul residents, shopkeepers, and street based workers, all of whom display a striking commitment to the well-being and future of the city’s canine population (a community of street dogs, and cats, free of formal ownership but fed and cared for by numerous individuals). Interwoven to this narrative are readings by Berger from his novel “King,” a story of hope, dreams, love and resistance, told from the perspective of a dog belonging to a community facing disappearance, even erasure. Taskafa is a moving testimonial to the inestimable value of non-human populations to the emotional and psychological health of the city, and a striking statement of witness both to advocacy and persecution across the centuries.

Awards & Fests[edit | edit source]

  • Official Selection, Berlin Film Festival
  • Official Selection, Art of the Real, Film Society of Lincoln Center
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