Review of "White God (DVD)"

published 25/09/2017 | thedevilinme
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"Th Dawn of the Planet of the Dogs"

White God (DVD)

White God (DVD)

Star – Dogs
Genre – World Cinema
Run Time – 121 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – Hungary
Awards – 7 Wins & 19 Nominations
Amazon – £10.99 DVD £8.99 Blue Ray
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90% of animal lovers are 90% of animal abusers. It stands to reason that if you are a pet owner or work with animals then you are most likely to be the ones in the right place to be hurting them as well as loving them. Strangers tend not to boot peoples pets in the street! People have pets for many reasons. But what if every dog could quite literally have its day; the question asked through this parable by Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó in this extremely unique and visually powerful feature film from Hungary. They have a growing right wing problem in that country, a cancer taking hold in Eastern Europe. The Iron Curtain kept those countries white and those Hungarian guys are not happy now the European Union’s porous borders letting hundreds of thousands of Muslims and darker skin people into to Hungary.

The phrase ‘White Gods’ is the belief that ancient cultures around the world were visited by Caucasian races in ancient times, and that they were known as "White gods". It’s based mainly on 16th-century accounts of the Spanish conquistadors being "greeted as gods" by the peoples of the New World. Kornél Mundruczó appears to be presenting some sort of parable about immigration and racism in modern day Hungry here through the eyes of dogs and children. The dogs are clearly the big stars through, no fewer that 274 used in the movie in which is the world record for the most dogs used in a feature film was set. If you love dogs, slobber and all, you will enjoy this.


Zsófia Psotta ... Lili
Body... Hagen
Sándor Zsótér ... Dániel
Lili Horváth ... Elza
Szabolcs Thuróczy ... Old man
Lili Monori ... Bev
Gergely Bánki ... Dog-catcher
Tamás Polgár ... Dog-catcher
Károly Ascher ... Péter
Tsogbaatar Batzorig ... Dealer
Erika Bodnár ... Neighbour
Bence Csepeli ... Diamond
János Derzsi ... Homeless
Ruby Ben Eli …Dog Roma man


Young teenager Lili (Zsófia Psotta) has moved in with her father in his city flat after divorce has hit the family. She has not seen him since she was little. Lili has bought along her prized half-breed dog Hagen; much to her strict father’s annoyance, and to their neighbor (Erika Bodnár), who reports the mutt’s presence to the local council as it has no license for the building. Dad is not about to pay it.

Lili attends music school to keep her parents happy but is very upset when dad announces the dog is going to the pound as the flat is not big enough for the three of them and he will buy her a small pedigree instead. Lili has only heard bad things about the pound and fears Hagen will simply be put down. Even crueler he simply dumps the dog in the middle of the industrial suburbs with his daughter in tears in the back of the car as they drive off, leaving the dog to fend for itself.

Hagen wonders around the nighttime city dazed and confused but a fellow dog taking sympathy for him and teaming up. The pair witnesses other dogs being rounded up for the pound, encounter angry humans and eventually Hagen snared by a homeless man (János Derzsi) for company. Meanwhile Lili is organizing a search for her dog with older friends from the music school.

The homeless man sells the dog to a dog fighting ring boss (Ruby Ben Eli), where he is chained, starved, and trained to kill. In his first fight, he kills his opponent and escapes. He is later caught by animal control officers and brought to the city dog pound. Now angry Hagen bites a potential new owner and so put in the ‘other area’ where very few strays come out of alive. With his new found fighting skills he escapes once again and brings a few friends with him as they charge towards the city to cause mayhem and take revenge on the humans.


I didn’t know what I was going to get with this one but what I did get I really enjoyed. It was worth the effort. You should give this a go. Foreign film fans and dog lovers alike will love this. I must admit I didn’t twig the immigration and racism parable and that was obviously picked up quicker by Hungarians but looking back you can see it now, the mongrel dog the oppressed migrant, the oppressive father ‘The State’, and the young girl the hope.

Zsófia Psotta as Lili is excellent in the lead as the lonely girl looking for acceptance and the dogs just mesmeric on screen producing some iconic cinema scenes and adorable expressions. Hagen is portrayed by twin dogs Luke and Body in the film. They were found in a caravan park in Arizona just as their owner was about to take them to an animal shelter. Whether there are issues over training the dogs to be so disciplined in the film, so contradictory to the films messages, is a debate for another day.

The concept is bold but brilliantly done and you somehow do believe the animals can communicate with each other and you are certainly pulling for them, even when they go for the throat. Be warned this is not a kid’s film in any way and so don’t expect Benji. What you should expect is a clever and imaginative film that must have taken great patience, vision and forethought to get this film completed. The scenes where hundreds of wild dogs race through the city are amazing.

There are not too many subtitles and as the film is so visually appealing that should not be an issue if you are not prejudice against subs. A lot of people are. Its one of those interesting movies you only really get from European cinema and you will go with it. I guarantee you will enjoy it.

RATINGS – 6.9/10.0 (11,435votes) – 89% critic’s approval – 80% critic’s approval

Special Features


Washington Post –‘Even those who don't buy in completely to Mundruczo's parable will be impressed by his canine crowd scenes, staged with ambition, skill and genuinely original vision’.

Chicago Sun times –‘Unfortunately, whatever satisfaction you may derive from seeing assorted nasty human beings get what's coming to them for betraying the trust of man's best friend is watered down by vague social and political allegory’.

Los Angles Times –‘By turns Dickensian, Marxist and dystopian, it's a movie as deliriously unclassifiable as it is expertly focused in its desire to provoke and entertain’.

San Francisco Times –‘Rarely does a film's execution achieve or even exceed its director's ambitions, but Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo's "White God" is that rare movie’.

NY Magazine –‘A B revenge movie with A-plus direction by Kornél Mundruczó and a cast of canines so personable that even when they tear out people's throats you still want to take them home’.

Washington Times –‘White God is not your average animal film, I'll admit. We in the U.S. are so used to the feel-good animal story that most audiences would find this one is disturbing’.

Bangkok Post –‘Through Hagen's journey into the pit of madness, this strange film, directed by Kornél Mundruczó, becomes a thriller, a parable, as well as a tough critique of the way men assume superiority over nature’.

The Times –‘This unique Hungarian fable about racism and immigration is told from the point of view of dogs and children.’


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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 08/10/2017
    vh :o)
  • jo-1976 published 30/09/2017
    Interesting analogy
  • mumsymary published 27/09/2017
    good review
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Product Information : White God (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Country Of Origin: Hungary

Genre: Drama

Video Category: World Cinema Feature Film

Sub Genre: General

Classification: 15 years and over

Actor(s): Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth

DVD Region: DVD

Director(s): Kornél Mundruczó

Production Year: 2014

EAN: 5055002559846


Listed on Ciao since: 22/09/2017