Documentary maker Heddy Honigmann tells the story of six very special dogs whose owners cannot do without them. The dogs are specially trained to help people whose lives are not always easy. Thanks to the amazing skills of their dogs they are able to live as independently as possible.

Think of a guide dog and you probably imagine a dog that helps a blind person. Honigmann’s film reveals the many different ways in which guide dogs can be used. Help dog Kaiko helps Erna to undress and turns her over in her bed at night, something she doesn’t have the strength to do herself. Utah is a faithful friend to Zeb, a boy on the autism scale. She never rejects him, which children in the neighbourhood have sometimes done. Hans is totally reliant on his great love, guide dog Missy. And rebellious Annabel never goes anywhere without Kay, her comrade and ‘nurse’ who watches over her when the pain overwhelms her. Makker is already retired. For many years he accompanied blind and stubborn Edith everywhere. Now both of them are old, but still inseparable.

Buddy is a captivating and loving portrait of the deep bond between humans and dogs. And by the end of the film, even those who are not dog lovers will understand the how intense that bond can be.

Documentary maker Heddy Honigmann looks at the world in a special way. She has won two Golden Calves for best documentary and at IDFA in 2013 she became only the second filmmaker to receive the Living Legend Award.

One-time screening as part of the ‘Empathy lecture series’ by Studium Generale (WUR). Free admission for WUR-card holders. No Pause.