White God

Mar 07, 2018
Cranbrook Film Society

Brace yourselves for a visceral, action packed parable of rebellion against injustice and prejudice starring two hundred disaffected mutts and a resentful Hungarian teenage girl. “White God” is like nothing you have seen before – a sort of doggy cross between “Black Beauty” and “Spartacus”. Shocking and exciting with superb canine acting.

Kornél Mundruczó | Hungary/Germany/Sweden | 2014 | 121 mins | 15


“The hand that feeds — and also brutalizes — is righteously bitten in “White God,” a Hungarian revenge fantasy… The story is as simple as a parable, a campfire story, a children’s book.” – New York Times.
“Enormous verve, brooding menace and impressive sincerity. Disney meets Hitchcock
in Kornél Mundruczó’s beautifully calibrated, immaculately acted Cannes winner – Irish Times.
“White God” is a visceral, violent, roller-coasting parable of either cruelty and its consequences…or the healing powers of love and music, whichever you prefer. This is pure old fashioned, cinematic storytelling without Computer Generated Images
An almost hallucinogenic combination of “Lassie” and “Spartacus”, the storyline is mainly concerned with the hows and whys of rebellion and how far modern society bears responsibility for such an event.
Set against the backdrop of Budapest, the film’s cast consists of two hundred dogs, a disaffected teenage girl and a dysfunctional society of adults who for the most part oscillate between the insensitive and the downright cruel.
Directed and part written by Kornél Mundruczó this film has all the plot predictability of a Clint Eastwood Western, but this is inconsequential when set against the outstanding acting talents of its twin stars, Lili the adolescent and Hagen the noble mongrel dog. This, together with the sensationa camera work of Marcel Rev, all shot on hand- held widescreen at ground level, makes for a ferocious velocity of visual narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The main protagonist Hagen has all the star qualities of the late Burt Lancaster, brave, rough and able to evoke the whole gamut of emotions by just baring his teeth.
Lili the alienated trumpet-playing, half-child is every bit as credible as Hagen’s melancholic owner. The product of a modern broken marriage she depends on her dog’s loyalty for her sanity just as he depends on her love.
So brave up to the violence and remember that you probably eat meat but that all the animals involve were rescued and that no dog was hurt in the making of this epic. Hang on to your seat for a ride that you will remember and might just surprise you.
Philip Bret-Day


            Weighted votes 62%

            Several members left the film early. One audience member thought that 38 people left.