"Stray Dog" was one of the highlights of NYFF 2014. The hook was irresistable. After making "Winter's Bone," a modern classic, Debra Granik stayed behind in the beautiful desolation of Missouri to make a film about one of the many wonderful people she met during filming. Ron Hall, the stray dog of the title, is a mass of strange and beautiful contradictions. Granik knew right away she had something in Hall's everyday life and got to work. She understands the unique challenges and uphill battles involved in documentary, which makes her an essential voice today especially for up and coming filmmakers, but she also has the most lovely optimistic outlook about her work. She needs to tell stories like this, and "Stray Dog" is one more fine work of urgency and sensitivity in her canon.