The Dog

“Were you Al Pacino in the movie?” a man on the street asks John Wojtowicz, whose botched robbery of a Brooklyn bank in August 1972 was dramatized in Dog Day Afternoon. “I’m the bank robber—fuck Al Pacino!” replies Wojtowicz. Questions of identity reverberate through The Dog, a documentary by Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren that chronicles Wojtowicz’s storied and terribly sad life. If you’ve ever seen Dog Day Afternoon, you surely remember its head-turning midmovie plot twist, when the Wojtowicz character is revealed as a gay man who wants money to finance his partner’s sex-change operation. The Dog tells the story of a seemingly average guy who spent his early adult years wrestling with his sexual identity, eventually becoming a pioneering advocate of gay rights and same-sex marriage in the U.S. But after escaping from one social straitjacket, Wojtowicz stumbled right into another when his caper became an international news story and an Oscar-nominated film. For the rest of his life, he would be defined as the protagonist of Dog Day Afternoon. Continue reading >>