When I first watched White God, the idea of a mysterious virus sweeping across the continent leaving deserted streets behind seemed highly implausible. 2020 has certainly turned this creepy fantasy into a timely horror.
This unnerving Hungarian drama follows the fortunes of a mixed-breed dog and his 13-year-old owner (Lili) as they move to a new setting in Budapest. Through a series of unfortunate events, Lili’s father decides its time to get a new dog and finally rid his family of the mongrel by driving out to the outskirts of the city and leaving Hagen behind.
Things take a dramatic turn when a furious Lili begins to act out after her fathers betrayal, but worse is to come as Hagen is forced to evade and eventually endure the worst that humanity has to offer. A bizarre psychotic state overtakes the dog population of the city, and Hagen emerges as a leader to exact revenge on those pesky humans.
That’s a rather blunt appraisal of what is in reality a superbly delicate film which is bursting with invention. The performances (both human and canine) are wonderful, and the underlying relationship between a young girl and her life-long four-legged friend is a central pillar this film constantly relies on.
White God picked up honours at Cannes in 2014, with critics praising it for the tone and cinematography throughout the film. We also think this is a fantastically entertaining watch with real bite. Cassam Looch