What was supposed to be a fun sexual encounter with a little romance turns into an unwanted conversation about race.


Director(s) Maissa Lihedheb
Screenplay By Lamin Leroy Gibba
Date Released (Film Festival – Tribeca Film Festival) 6/8/2022
Genre(s) Drama, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT+, Non-English (German)
Duration 18 Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Cast
Malik Lamin Leroy Gibba
Phillip Til Schindler

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

Malik has been waiting to see Phillip for some time. He ghosted him before, but now he has arrived at his apartment, and after making out and having some light conversation, they do what was desired. But, something bothers Malik. Phillip keeps looking past him, and after having sex, issues with a pair of handcuffs lead to an uncomfortable conversation about race in Germany and how being in an interracial relationship affects them.

Things To Note

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: Cursing (Minimal or Non-Existent), Sexual Content (Nudity – No Visible Private Parts)

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Did these two meet on an app or in real life?

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Malik

Excited to meet up and using sage to cleanse his place, all goes well until Phillip makes it clear he can’t stay overnight because he has a dog.

Phillip

Phillip works with immigrants, seemingly part of a legal team, and while he enjoys having fun with Malik, between a case in the morning and his dog, Malik isn’t high up on his priority list once they’re done having sex.

Review

Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

On The Fence

You Get What It Wants To Say, But Can Tell Malik Doesn’t Want To Waste his Breath

Going by the logline on the Tribeca Film Festival’s site, you’d think this would be an 18 or so minute breakdown of the complicated nature of interracial romance, especially between queer people, in Germany. Unfortunately, you have to take expectations down several notches. “Dogfriend” does touch upon race, politics, and history, as promised, but not in a way that may deliver what you expect.

Mostly, what you get is a well-meaning Phillip trying to have an inopportune conversation Malik isn’t in the head space for, after Phillip says something which can be taken offensively. Also, it doesn’t dive deep into German life beyond invoking the word “Nazi,” and while you can understand Malik’s frustrations with Phillip, and white men in general, it doesn’t get to the depths you may hope for or expect. It’s not a cathartic release but maybe more so a personal feeling or moment acted out. One in which you get Malik’s point, but it doesn’t drive you to wish this was longer for him to expand.

Movie Directory

An old school film reel drawn by artist Dean Nelson.

On The Radar


Ratings

  • Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
  • Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
  • Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
  • Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.

Special Categories/ Tags

  • Indie: By our definition, independent films are films you have to seek to find due to limited availability or lack of a marketing push.
  • Film Festival: Featured in this tag are films and shorts which were discovered thanks to various film festivals, so some of the productions may not have wide availability but still may deserve to be on your watch.
  • Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
  • Ending Spoilers: Trying to remember how a film ended, or want a different take on the ending, then check out the "ending spoilers" category. 
Malik (Lamin Leroy Gibba) and Phillip (Til Schindler) having a conversation in Malik's home
Dogfriend (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
“Dogfriend” isn’t going to be the production that really breaks down racism and the sometimes complicated dynamics of being in an interracial relationship. It’s a potential conversation starter but not the best one you’ll find.
You Get What It Wants To Say, But Can Tell Malik Doesn’t Want To Waste his Breath
76
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
Disputable
You Get What It Wants To Say, But Can Tell Malik Doesn’t Want To Waste his Breath
76


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I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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