Review | ‘Koko: A Red Dog Story’ honours an extraordinary Australian

Koko: A Red Dog Story | Dir: Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce | G | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

This is the third in the Red Dog series produced by Nelson Woss, who adopted Koko after he starred in the brilliant Australian film Red Dog. The docudrama recounts the life of the red cloud kelpie who became the wandering Pilbara dog who captured people’s hearts – on film and in life.

The documentary draws from the Red Dog film, behind the scenes footage and interviews of the people involved. Using actors including an equally talented Koko substitute, key scenes are dramatised with a highlight being when Koko auditions for his acting gig.

When no actors were available to tour the country to promote the original Red Dog film, Koko travelled around Australia. He not only became the face of the film, but plumbed into our love of dogs and is celebrated with a statue at the Shenton Park Dog Refuge.

Seeped in Aussie humour, this film does more than honour Koko who died of congestive heart disease a year after Red Dog was released. It is a heart-warming celebration of all dogs – evidently there are 560 million in the world. With up-beat music and plenty of scones, even cat-lovers will be entranced and become emotional!

As Nelson Woss says, “Koko had an amazing life and his impact on people and communities is his legacy. The release will work closely with animal shelters and community-based charities offering them the opportunity to use the film for charity events & screenings”.

The world needs more films like this. A charity screening of the film at Innaloo Cinema on Monday night raised approximately $10,000 for the Shenton Park Dog Refuge after Woss contributed half the amount… and there wasn’t a dry eye in the packed cinema.

See the film of the ordinary dog who became extraordinary and meet producer Nelson Woss and director Aaron McCann on 8 December at the Windsor Cinema for a Q&A after the screening.

Lezly Herbert


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