White God

Astorka-Korzo’90 Theatre)(12 November 2016)(10:30 White God

A screening of Kornél Mundruczó’s film followed by a discussion with the authors. Moderator: Tony Curzon Price (UK)

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White God

Hungary / Germany / Sweden , 2014, 119 minutes

Director:  Kornél Mundruczó

Screenplay:  Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi, Kata Wéber

Cast:  Zsófia Psotta, Lili Monori, Gergely Bánki, Orsolya Tóth, Kornél Mundruczó, János Derzsi, László Gálffi, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Horváth, Sándor Zsótér, László Melis, Tamás Polgár, Kornelia Horvath

Camera: Marcell Rév

Music: Asher Goldschmidt

White God, the latest film by acclaimed Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó, is a tale of politics, class and society. The movie tells the story of a group of unruly canines confined to an overcrowded public shelter in Budapest who break free of their chains and storm the streets of the city, waging bloody retaliation against their human oppressors. White God draws upon Eastern Europe’s painfully recent history of government tyranny and exploitation under Communism, as well as its subsequent slide into radical ultra-conservatism, to construct a fast- paced, emotionally devastating parable about the fearsome power of a dehumanized underclass.  The film’s perspective shifts between that of the four-legged rebel leader, Hagen, and his adolescent human sympathizer, Lili. While Hagen endures starvation, abuse and confinement, Lili roams the streets searching for her lost pet, whose agonies are the result of a cruel, impulsive abandonment by Lilli’s embittered father. The real culprit, though, is a “mutt tax” levied against all non-purebreds, which is so ridiculously high that Lili’s father refuses to pay it. Though the film has a fairy tale quality, it is strictly adult fare and not suitable for children. There are scenes of violence and inhumanity that may prove upsetting to any animal lover. Still, White God is a cinematic triumph—all of the filming is live action using real dogs—hundreds of them. Atypical for this day and age, the filmmakers avoided computer generated imagery (CGI). That choice lends the film a level of reality and surrealness unlike any film before it. The complexity of the crowd scenes and action sequences has to be seen to be believed, made all the more incredible when you know the task the film’s animal trainers were faced with.”

Cameron Woo and  Devon Ashby, The Bark

Photo: Magnolia Pictures