Lek and the Dogs, Dir. Andrew Kötting, UK, 2017, 92 mins
Combining archival footage with experimental and narrative sequences, artist and director Andrew Kötting reconstructs the true story of Ivan Mushukov, the Russian child found living with a pack of wild dogs on the streets of Moscow in the mid-1990s. At four, Ivan ran away from his alcoholic and abusive parents and found solace, warmth and a sense of belonging in the feral animals, away from the toxic human environment he was born into.
Lek and the Dogs is written and inspired by Hattie Naylor’s play about Ivan’s remarkable experience of hunger, desperation and survival, growing up amid a society devastated by recession, under threat of nuclear war. In Kötting’s reimagined version of the story, Ivan has matured into a forty-year-old man named Lek, played by the French performance artist and actor Xavier Tchili. His childhood trauma continues into manhood and he now lives in the deserts of Northern Chile, once again, exposed to the natural elements, cast away from society, left to reflect on his life and ability to cope in the human world.
This screening is followed by a Q&A with director Andrew Kötting.