Chola has the boundless energy that only young dogs enjoy. She spends her days chasing after balls and running after skateboarding teenagers. Her best friend is a male mutt named “Football” who tries to keep up with her despite his extra years. He might be a step behind sometimes, but they are always together … and they are always adorable.

These stray pooches and the place they make their home are the main subjects of a documentary, “Los Reyes,” that will screen 13 times at the Museum of the Moving Image between Friday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Sept. 8.

Admission is $15.

Chola and Football live in El Parque de Los Reyes, the oldest skate park in Santiago, Chile. The public venue (below) is interesting on its own as it brings together teenagers (mostly, but some adults, too) from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds in a South American country where the classes rarely mix socially.

The directors – Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff – originally set out to capture these youngsters as they do their typical things (i.e. gossiping about girlfriends and drugs, showing off their board skills) and frame their lives within the notions of aging, transition and even time.

However, the desired subjects didn’t want to share their inner lives with strangers carrying cameras. Plus, the two inseparable dogs were so cute. So Perut and Osnovikoff, who are both Chilean and have collaborated on eight films in total, quickly changed their focus to the park’s unofficial mascots.

Chola and Football do normal canine activities, such as sniffing around, panting and barking. There are some differences, though. Football, who has a white chin, likes to chew plastic bottles and old tennis balls. The ever frisky Chola, a mutt with some notables black lab genes, likes to chase the skaters. She also likes to leave balls on a skate wall and then chase them as they roll down the slope.

The audience simply observes the informal human-and-animal parallel play and camaraderie for 77 minutes. No themes are forced. No conclusions are spelled out. The film is escape from the harsh realities of the world, just like the park.

Showtimes are Aug. 30 at 5 p.m.; Aug. 31 at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 1 at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Sept. 4 at 3 p.m.; Sept. 5 at 3 p.m.; Sept. 6 at 5 p.m.; Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District.

Images: Perut + Osnovikoff


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