In the dilapidated buildings of the unidentified coastal town in Dogman, the community is tight and lives very modestly. Marcello (Marcello Monte) is the titular character, the local dog groomer beloved by all, canine or human. The attention with which he washes, dries, brushes and massages the angry pitbulls or delicate poodles is a welcome glimmer of hope and humour in this desolate landscape, which at first distances Matteo Garrone’s new film from the nightmarish vision of poor Italy he presented in Gomorra, his most acclaimed feature (Dogman is, however, based on a true and gruesome story). Whether aggressive or cute, the dogs that pass through Marcello’s hands are innocent beings and reveal in this short, smiling man a bottomless well of kindness.