Release Date: 3 August
2015 | 15 | DVD Director: Kornél Mundruczó Cast: Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Luke and Body
This allegorical Hungarian drama scooped the coveted Palme Dog at the 2014 Cannes film festival, and deservedly so. The canine cast dazzle in this tale of an oppressed pooch who incites a furry revolution on the streets of Budapest.
Hagen is the loveable mixedbreed dog of 15- year- old Lili. After being abandoned on the streets by Lili’s tight- fisted father, Hagen transforms from kind- hearted canine into the snarling survivor of the fighting pits, leading a seemingly organised uprising across the city to enact bloody revenge.
Part socially- conscious animal welfare drama, part Cujo, White God mainly plays things powerfully straight. Hagen’s brutal fight training is genuinely upsetting stuff, the reassurance that “no animals were mistreated or harmed while training and filming ” more of a relief than ever before. The final act is where the film takes a turn for the fantastical. It’s a thrilling about- face, with mass maulings and marches down militarised streets never less than thrillingly convincing.
If there’s a downside it’s that Lili’s parallel story doesn’t quite match the emotional highs of Hagen’s. It’s standard “young girl gets mixed up with the wrong crowd” fare, only really registering when Hagen’s on screen. Far from a dog’s dinner, White God is real Pedigree Chum.
Extras: Interviews with the director and the animal coordinator, plus a behind- the- scenes piece.
“Listen. I haven’t always been a dog.”