Rated PG-13 2005

An epileptic bulldog in the home of a famous wine critic. A snarling Boston terrier on the streets of Tuscany. A loping Labrador gobbling grapes in Burgundy. In every location of Mondovino -- a rich documentary exposing the globalization of the wine industry -- there is a dog whose presence informs our understanding of its owner. While interviewing winemakers, wine distributors, wine consultants, wine writers, etc., director Jonathan Nossiter sets his camera on the dog, to hilarious and telling effect. In this way, he tunnels under the testimony of his participants to expose what lies beneath. Like any good documentary, Mondovino is about more than its immediate subject: There is the drama of generations, and the relationships among them; there is the conflict of the classes; the story of humans and their relationship with nature, and beneath that with themselves and their souls. What's great about Mondovino is that, while it provides a clear view of the current state of wine, the film's chief investment is in these other, fundamental stories.



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