Last week we were introduced to a guide dog named Orlando who helped save his owner, Cecil Williams, from a subway train, and it reminded us all of the meaning of loyalty. This week, I stumbled across a trailer for a Japanese movie called Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog, which had even more weight than it would have before learning of Orlando’s story.
Based on a true story, the documentary-like film introduces viewers to a yellow Labrador Retriever named Quill. Quill starts off as just another adorable puppy scampering around with the rest of the litter, but it becomes clear that there is something special about him and he is chosen to be a guide dog. After being trained, Quill is then paired up with a blind man who is resistant to receiving assistance from an animal. By the end of the trailer we see the man succumb to the gentle strength of his guide dog.
While you probably spent the week watching sweet and sentimental holiday movies and listening to “Christmas Shoes,” you can rest assured that Quill is not of the saccharine variety. Movie reviewer Ben Sachs of the Chicago Reader praised the film for, “it's surprisingly unsentimental in its depiction of people with disabilities,” and called the scenes of guide-dog training “informative.” Reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes gave Quill an 81 percent rating, (Marley and Me only received a 64 percent rating) which is high praise from the skeptic-friendly site.
The movie was originally released in Japan in 2004, but was not released in the United States until May 2012. It is currently available on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix.