Where to begin with A Letter to True?
If I were to say this is a documentary structured in the form of a letter written by the narrator, fashion photographer Bruce Weber, to someone called True it might not seem that odd. If I mention that True is a golden retriever it starts to become a little strange.
Along the way it takes on board Weber’s childhood, war photographer Larry Burrows, Liz Taylor and her poodle, Dirk Bogarde, surf culture, Haitian refugees, Mid-Western farm boys, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, all played to a soundtrack that includes Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington and the enchanting Blossom Dearie.
At first this odd selection of subjects seems disjointed, almost as if they all represented incomplete films Weber had attempted to make in the past. That is until we begin to see the overall intent, to make a hymn to all the things Weber loves and believes in, as a way of counteracting the hateful time in which the film was made, the beginning of yet another war in Iraq.
The whole thing is leavened with a self-deprecating humor and touching honesty and is of course done with the style you would expect of one of the world’s leading fashion photographer’s
Most importantly there are dogs in it, lots of dogs; Dogs wagging, panting, running, swimming, surfing, even sitting on elephants. For if there is better symbol for unconditional love and the joy of being alive I have yet to see anything that beats a dog running towards you with a stick in his mouth.