Who Let the Dogs Out?

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Brent Hodge
Canada
2019
70 minutes

To the majority of people alive and breathing in the year 2000, Who Let The Dogs Out? is the name of a massively popular radio hit by the flash-in-the-pan group Baha Men. To artist Ben Sisto, it is a philosophical question that challenges accepted notions of authorship and creative ownership.

Brent Hodge’s documentary Who Let The Dogs Out? follows Sisto’s obsessive quest to become the world’s leading expert on the song and its confusing pedigree. Beginning in the present day, Sisto takes the stage in front of a packed club and begins a TED talk-style presentation about the cultural phenomenon of the song, its known origins, and unanswered questions around who really coined the eponymous lyric and subsequent woof/woof/woof/woof structure.

Sisto meets with a lively cast of characters, each laying different and compelling claims to having created the catchy hook. His pursuit of a definitive answer is relentless, stretching further and further back in time as new contenders emerge. The result is a wonderfully funny and entertaining film as much about creative ownership as it is about one person’s compulsion to find the truth. -TA