Dogwood (2014)

dogwoodSometimes all we need is bit of kinship and empathy. And sometimes a simple story told in a movie can make us feel good about the world, about the people and encourage in an ingenious way to “pay it forward”. That is the case with the 2014 short film Dogwood written and directed by Christopher Maloney.

The movie tells the story of Charlie (Rick Parker) – a good natured school bus driver who notices the shines of Rowan (Perrin Jack) young boy who has recently been placed in a foster home along Charlie’s bus route. Charlie shows interest in the boy and the two develop a heartwarming friendship which brightens both of their lives.

Dogwood is beautifully shot and combined with its very fitting musical score (by a band called Town Meeting) – it evokes a sense of calmness and harmony. The story is simple enough to follow and most viewers will be able to relate to it (in my case it brought reminiscences of friends from Germany and elsewhere with whom I have formed a bound regardless of the age difference). My only complaint is the somehow unsatisfying and vague ending.

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  1. Thanks for the recommendation, Georgi. Dogwood is everything you say it is and features the sort of good, low-key acting often lacking in low-budget shorts.

    It feels almost courageous these days to make a film like this without sinister overtones creeping in. I’m glad Christopher Maloney didn’t fall into that trap.

    I agree that the ending is understated, but unlike you I found it quite powerful, with the realization that I’d been feeling sorry for the wrong character all along.

    Sweet, charming and tinged with genuine sadness. What a joy to watch!

    • Sinister…thankfully as you said not – its so easy to make a film that shocks following some ill developed stereotypes which hurt more people than they aim to inform and protect. I have learned that the filmmakers wish to turn Dogwood into full feature film at which point the issue with the ending may cease to exist. Initially I thought of just sharing this film on the site`s Facebook page , but it deserved so much more…hence the review. Glad you enjoyed it !


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