A Letter to True is the latest work from influential fashion photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber. This touching and personal documentary-style ‘letter’ was made for the youngest of Weber’s five golden retrievers because according to Weber, ‘sometimes he is the only one who will listen to me’. Weber tries to illustrate to his dog the people and things who have affected his life so deeply. These include Spender, a kind mother who isn’t afraid to get muddy, Larry Burrows, a Vietnam War photographer who died for his art, poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke, and the lifelong friendship of dog lovers Elizabeth Taylor and Dirk Bogarde. Weber’s introspective voice-over confronts a wide range of seemingly disconnected topics such as 9/11, the Iraq war, love and law and poverty.
The real stars of this film are Weber’s sickeningly happy canines and a cat named Tyson. Weber is extremely affectionate toward his dogs and a discourse about the relationships between people and their animals is created. Aside from a classic selection of music, the inherent appeal of this film lies in its visual charm. This is a very personal essay which functions more as an exposition on the filmmaker’s worldview than a ‘documentary’ in the traditional sense. I don’t have a dog, nor do I want one, but after seeing this film I can see why some people do. HH