3 items from 2015
★★★★☆ The latter part of that old adage about never working with children or animals has been taken on and smashed beyond all recognition in the strikingly original Hungarian parable White God (2014). What starts off as what could be only be described as a dark reboot of The Incredible Journey, directed by Lukas Moodysson, later settles into a much more chilling and unpredictable fable, complete with a moving coming-of-age tale subtly interwoven throughout. When teenager Lili (an appealing turn by Zsófia Psotta) is unceremoniously dumped by her mother on her divorced scientist father Daniel (Sándor Zsótér), it's clear he isn't happy with Lili's faithful hound Hagen.
- CineVue UK
Doggedly heavy on allegory, Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó's White God (originally Fehér Isten) has a relatively simple premise: beware the comeuppance for those that treat badly those they believe to be inferior. At its heart, the film plays as if Samuel Peckinpaw [sic] directed The Incredible Journey, that Disney Animal film referenced in last year's Cannes hit Inside Llewyn Davis. The title was at first a mystery and mere pun, but appears to at least partially be a play on White Dog, Sam Fuller's 1982 canines-and-racism flick. A revenge fantasy from the canine perspective, this is part political polemic, part action thriller, with a climax that is equal parts hyperbolic and effective. The archetypes abound, be they in the notion of the denigration of those...
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Directed by Kornél Mundruczó
Dogs rise up against their human masters in Kornél Mundruczó’s White God, a film that is part-political allegory and part-bloody genre piece. The opening sequence shows a girl riding her bicycle through the sunny but deserted streets of Budapest, looking anxiously around her as she passes abandoned cars and empty buildings. Suddenly, from around the corner, hundreds of dogs appear, running with purpose, chasing and overtaking her. At this point, it feels like an apocalyptic dream, but, when White God returns to the scene later on, it has been contextualised in a narrative of oppression and justified revolt.
The girl on the bicycle is Lili (Zsófia Psotta), a smart but surly thirteen-year-old who has an intimate bond with her mongrel dog Hagen. When her mother temporarily moves abroad, Lili is forced »
- Rob Dickie
3 items from 2015
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