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Review: White God

White God
03.27.2015
9 10

PLOT: When a thirteen-year-old girl is forced to give up her dog, both she and her loyal pet desperately try to find each other in a cruel and violent world.

REVIEW: Rarely does a film have such a resounding emotional impact that it becomes a difficult experience to sit through. This is not an insult to the quality of the work, not at all. Yet WHITE GOD (original title Fehér isten) is a ferociously harsh film when it comes to the horrors an abandoned dog must face. In fact, there are moments that are near cringe worthy when you see the disturbing treatment the animal is given. For the first hour it was near impossible to see this poor animal - as well as the young teenage girl forced to give him up - treated so poorly. This is not an easy film to take in, especially if you are an animal lover, but it is a raw and potent one that will stick with you whether you want it to or not.

This Hungarian tale tells of two adventures. When a teenage girl named Lili (Zsófia Psotta) is sent to spend time with her seemingly reluctant father, Dániel (Sándor Zsótér), her only happiness comes from her loyal dog Hagen (played by Body and Luke). When the locals find that they are keeping a dog, they insist that financially struggling Dániel pay a fee to keep the dog - these poor animals are not looked upon kindly here. Frustrated by his daughter’s insistence of keeping the dog, he lets Hagen go somewhere in the city streets much to his daughter’s dismay. It is a heartbreaking moment, and one that will lead to an unusual uprising.

As much as it is Lili’s determined fight to find her dog, WHITE GOD is Hagen’s story of survival, struggle and revenge, and it is one hell of a potent one. The opening sequence in this effective drama is simply incredible. We see Lili riding her bike in a city that seems to have suffered some sort of devastation. As she rides across numerous streets we see an army of dogs begin to follow her. Why and what purpose we are unaware, but it is an incredible image. It is ridiculous to imagine the difficulty filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó must have gone through to make this movie. After all, you always hear that working with children and animals are both difficult. He does both with complete success. Not only does he manage to get fantastic performances all around, he also creates a visually stunning work. While the all too painful images of dogs being brutalized is certainly taxing - actually a couple scenes are downright excruciating - you can’t deny it’s power.

As much as I was mesmerized by WHITE GOD, the punishment placed upon Hagen and numerous other dogs is just awful to watch. Loyal family pet flicks are usually filled with heartache, but this is far more torturous than most. There is a point to it, thankfully, and it is not at all exploitative nevertheless it is not an easy watch. It also helps to be aware that the dogs were seemingly well taken care of, and all of the dogs - there may have been a hundred or so - found homes after production. As vicious as the dog fighting scenes may be, and the vicious portrayal of those who had no interest in helping the animals, it is good to know that the filmmakers took great care in their well being.

This is an impressively shot film, as well, it features two terrific lead performances. While it is Psotta’s only credit, she gives a fantastic portrayal of a lonely teen girl. While you can tell that she lacks a bit of professional polish, she has a natural quality that helps give credence to her take as Lili. And yes, she has wonderful chemistry with the film’s real star. Luke and Body - and all involved in creating their on-screen performance - are absolutely splendid. Hagen shows enormous growth and range as a dog trying to find sanctity, as well as his loving owner, in a cruel and brutal world. Even though the father shows a little compassion when necessary, the adult actors are generally very good at being awful. The suspense is almost insufferable every single time Hagen meets another character as they tend to get worse and worse along the way.

WHITE GOD is a brave yet vicious film that will be a difficult experience for many. If you are a dog lover this may be a downright painful watch for most of its running time. Yet the script - written by Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi and Kata Wéber - takes a wild turn that is strange but very necessary. It has much to say about the way we treat animals, as well as the cruel and unrelentingly difficult period of growing up in this world. This is an intense feature that will likely weigh heavy on many a viewer. Part coming-of-age and part revenge, it is still worth watching even if you may not be able to take it all in. Even if you are not a huge dog person this is a tough watch. However, there is much to admire in this near exceptional film, and I guarantee you will be fully invested in the two leads.

Source: JoBlo.com

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11:57PM on 03/27/2015
"wed shoot for one week, then wed train for one week"..."Altogether this movie took a year from my life, half-a-year shooting and half-a-year training".
"wed shoot for one week, then wed train for one week"..."Altogether this movie took a year from my life, half-a-year shooting and half-a-year training".
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11:46PM on 03/27/2015
There's a great interview with the director at badassdigest , about how they chose the canine actors and all. I must see this.
There's a great interview with the director at badassdigest , about how they chose the canine actors and all. I must see this.
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1:44PM on 03/27/2015
Ouch, I've been wanting to see this one but it sounds almost too brutal.
Ouch, I've been wanting to see this one but it sounds almost too brutal.
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9:33AM on 04/01/2015
I feel the same
I feel the same
-2
11:06AM on 03/27/2015
I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous this sentence is: "Hagan shows enormous growth and range as a dog trying to find sanctity." It makes me want to laugh and puke at the same time. With that being said, I doubt I could watch this movie, and I don't think I've ever really said that. I can seriously watch a hardcore rape film before I could watch dogs getting abused. I'm not sure what that says about me.
I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous this sentence is: "Hagan shows enormous growth and range as a dog trying to find sanctity." It makes me want to laugh and puke at the same time. With that being said, I doubt I could watch this movie, and I don't think I've ever really said that. I can seriously watch a hardcore rape film before I could watch dogs getting abused. I'm not sure what that says about me.
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11:16AM on 03/27/2015
Well judging by your comment it doesnt say much about your character....
Well judging by your comment it doesnt say much about your character....
12:19PM on 03/27/2015
Fuck off Cinnamon. No one asked for your character assessments.
Fuck off Cinnamon. No one asked for your character assessments.
12:57PM on 03/27/2015
Why dont you lick me you little wimp.
Why dont you lick me you little wimp.
1:22PM on 03/27/2015
It's all about what feels "real" to you. People talk about The Accused, but that didn't really disturb me at all, while Bastard Out Of Carolina was practically nightmare inducing. It's probably much easier to suspend disbelief when it comes to the animal scenes than with a famous actress you've seen dozens of times pretending to be attacked.
It's all about what feels "real" to you. People talk about The Accused, but that didn't really disturb me at all, while Bastard Out Of Carolina was practically nightmare inducing. It's probably much easier to suspend disbelief when it comes to the animal scenes than with a famous actress you've seen dozens of times pretending to be attacked.
1:32PM on 03/27/2015
Well I'm glad I made you laugh bealzf. What I meant by that is the character of Hagen - while he is a dog - has more range than maybe I've ever seen from an animal actor (and probably a ton of actual actors). The dog character is almost portrayed as human. This is not Milo & Otis with a cute and cuddly dog you don't want to see hurt. The dog and their trainers work very hard to make this feel like a PERFORMANCE with a range of emotions. And honestly, they did an amazing job.
Well I'm glad I made you laugh bealzf. What I meant by that is the character of Hagen - while he is a dog - has more range than maybe I've ever seen from an animal actor (and probably a ton of actual actors). The dog character is almost portrayed as human. This is not Milo & Otis with a cute and cuddly dog you don't want to see hurt. The dog and their trainers work very hard to make this feel like a PERFORMANCE with a range of emotions. And honestly, they did an amazing job.
1:50PM on 03/27/2015
jimmyo, the dog acting abilities sounds awesome to me, this must be a seriously talented team of animal movie makers.
jimmyo, the dog acting abilities sounds awesome to me, this must be a seriously talented team of animal movie makers.
1:54PM on 03/27/2015
Definitely aerketype, they did amazing work!
Definitely aerketype, they did amazing work!
5:53PM on 03/27/2015
I know what you meant. It's just a dog has no consciousness of range or acting or even film, so it's impossible. It just sounded ridiculousness to me. I would have said you'd be amazed at how well an animal can act, but what do I know? Only that I don't know much (and that Cinammon likes to be licked).

And about my personality? I don't watch rape films and jerk off man. I've seen... Irreversible. And parts of it was difficult to watch but I've seen it. And I've seen hostel and a
I know what you meant. It's just a dog has no consciousness of range or acting or even film, so it's impossible. It just sounded ridiculousness to me. I would have said you'd be amazed at how well an animal can act, but what do I know? Only that I don't know much (and that Cinammon likes to be licked).

And about my personality? I don't watch rape films and jerk off man. I've seen... Irreversible. And parts of it was difficult to watch but I've seen it. And I've seen hostel and a couple Saws and an assortment of different horror and indie movies that are real messed up. Requeim for a dream. They aren't even the movies I prefer. But it's harder for me to watch dogs get abused than ppl, but I guess there's a spectical in (practical) gore. ...Honestly, if you don't know what I meant your pretty fucking stupid. Clearly I'm not watching real 8 mm films you moron. I comment on like every fn comic book movie
5:55PM on 03/27/2015
So I guess judging by your comprehension skills it says a good bit about you

But apologies mr O. You've introduced me to a film I've become interested in
So I guess judging by your comprehension skills it says a good bit about you

But apologies mr O. You've introduced me to a film I've become interested in
6:01PM on 03/27/2015
I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous this sentence is: "Hagan shows enormous growth and range as a dog trying to find sanctity."....why is that statement ridiculous idiot? He is giving a good review about an obviously good movie but you have to flap your big fucking mouth off ....seriously just shut up .
I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous this sentence is: "Hagan shows enormous growth and range as a dog trying to find sanctity."....why is that statement ridiculous idiot? He is giving a good review about an obviously good movie but you have to flap your big fucking mouth off ....seriously just shut up .
6:13PM on 03/27/2015
why do you care what I find funny and ridiculous? And why do you care if I point it out. I'm not saying anyone else should. And would it made a difference if it was a bad film? A bad review for a bad film? A good review for a bad film? Your fucking stupid man. Thank you for making me sure of that from 2 comments on an Internet site. All your doing is giving my little comment more attention. First it's about my character than that I have an opinion. In a vacuum it doesn't matter if I
why do you care what I find funny and ridiculous? And why do you care if I point it out. I'm not saying anyone else should. And would it made a difference if it was a bad film? A bad review for a bad film? A good review for a bad film? Your fucking stupid man. Thank you for making me sure of that from 2 comments on an Internet site. All your doing is giving my little comment more attention. First it's about my character than that I have an opinion. In a vacuum it doesn't matter if I say that's a great sentence or not, and in all honesty, it doesn't make sense. Thank the universe you can get online and talk crazy to folks you can't in real life. Get fucked man.
6:22PM on 03/27/2015
Pot calls the kettle black.

This movie looks great. It's definitely on my most anticipated list.
Pot calls the kettle black.

This movie looks great. It's definitely on my most anticipated list.
8:41PM on 03/27/2015
It's all good, no offense at all. Either way, I'm happy that people are talking about the film. Damn it was a tough watch, but I can't stop thinking about it. I appreciate the recent comments bealzf. And cinnamon, I appreciate the support man! Preston_79, you'll dig this flick for sure!
It's all good, no offense at all. Either way, I'm happy that people are talking about the film. Damn it was a tough watch, but I can't stop thinking about it. I appreciate the recent comments bealzf. And cinnamon, I appreciate the support man! Preston_79, you'll dig this flick for sure!
9:39PM on 03/27/2015
This movie can't possibly be better than this thread.
This movie can't possibly be better than this thread.
5:41PM on 03/29/2015
Haha, right Darth? I seriously doubt this movie will have dumber characters than this thread (and yes, I know the film features dogs). But I bet it won't be as funny as this thread (if it is, I'm going to guess the humor was intentional). I hadn't heard of this movie before now, and I watched the trailer for it immediately afterwards (which plays more like a planet of the apes film). Despite the (possible) dog brutality, I am now really looking forward to seeing it. I even looked to see
Haha, right Darth? I seriously doubt this movie will have dumber characters than this thread (and yes, I know the film features dogs). But I bet it won't be as funny as this thread (if it is, I'm going to guess the humor was intentional). I hadn't heard of this movie before now, and I watched the trailer for it immediately afterwards (which plays more like a planet of the apes film). Despite the (possible) dog brutality, I am now really looking forward to seeing it. I even looked to see if it was playing in town but it isn't yet ( hopefully).

I usually don't come back and check the threads my comments have started (though I do sometimes), but I just couldn't resist this time.

I was really looking forward to reading some more of Cinnamon's incredibly insight, but alas, he once again disappoints another human being. Good news for him though - this time it isn't another family member, a boss, or a female. I'd say girlfriends...but, well... you know (I mean he CLEARLY wants to "blo" Mr. O [Hey Cinnamon, see what I did there? I wrote "blo," like the last part of "joblo," instead of "blow," which you want to do to Mr. O. and probably everyone else more successful than you, even the dish washer who has seniority]). Cinnamon, do you watch sports? I doubt it, but sometimes when an all star is playing poorly, an opposing fan will non-stop yell at him. And many times he finally has enough, steps up his game, becomes that superstar, dominates, and wins the game. All because some nobody thought he could say whatever he wanted to a champ, and he ended up waking the beast and looking like a complete loser when his team lost.

So for anyone with time to spare, let's break all this down and recap!!
Cinnamon, do you not understand that there's a very little difference between my comment about the review and your comment about my comment? Which means, the comment you wrote to me is pretty much the exact same type of comment I wrote to Mr. O., which was the one that made you mad. To really spell this out for you, you are doing the same thing you are getting an attitude with me about. The differences are that, despite my (very?) poor attempt at constructive criticism, I didn't cuss or make judgements toward Mr. O, which is unlike the way you did to me. I found one of his sentences funny, but I didn't make a judgement about him from it. I even knew what he trying to say because of my comprehension skills. And my comment, while being too snarky, did actually make some sense. In making a judgment on my character, your comment proved you have no comprehension skills. Seriously, who enjoys hardcore rape films? And if someone did, why would they admit it on a site like this? So a couple people bashed you and tried to help explain it to you (I'm sure it didn't help). Next, you told someone to lick yourself. I am not sure if that is an insult similar to "suck my dick," or if that is just something you enjoy. Since there is absolutely nothing clever or rude about it, I must conclude it isn't an insult but an actual request (but hey, no judgements here, I don't have any problem with you being gay. I just have a problem with you being so stupid). Then I spoke with Mr. O, and in my understanding, I think we made peace with any kind of hard feelings (don't think there were serious ones to begin with). I also apologized and admitted that I don't even know that much. Then I went back and commented on your vast stupidity and told you how lucky you were for the internet. Because of the Internet you can eat chips and m&ms and drink sodas and cuss and talk crazy to strangers. But in real life, there's a good chunk of people who would really hurt you for talking that way. Your response? Like any ignorant person who has been proven wrong, you no longer cared about your original point, my personality and how I might love physically and sexually graphic films. At least you understood there was no real response to that, but instead of just stopping, you did what most stupid people do and started arguing a different, irrelevant topic. This proves to me you clearly have a crush on Mr. O, a man who appears intelligent, mature, and capable of taking care of himself. Now, your problem was that I "had to flap my big fn mouth off," while he was reviewing a good film? Well, I didn't dispute the film was good (though how do you know it's obviously good?). But most importantly, I wasn't flapping my big mouth off. I don't even know what that means, or if it's even possible. Can a mouth flap? And flap so hard that it can go off? A mouth is one thing, so maybe you meant flap your gums (and I'll just ignore the "off"). I typed a comment at the end of his review that didn't even disagree if the film was good, nor did it insult him. More importantly, and I don't know about you, but I rarely talk when I'm typing. I don't "flap my mouth off" when I talk, I can mainly just write most sentences in my head. So I guess that means that you have to speak everything you read. Is that right? Is that some sort of learning disability? I want to explain a few more things to you C. First of all, when someone like myself types a comment to a review, it actually doesn't interrupt your reading (or speaking - or maybe someone had to read it to you). It's not the same as talking during the movie. Also, when you read something like an article on Joblo, you can actually just read the article. The comments section is for people's opinions and other trivia. There are as many positives as there are negatives. You actually don't have to have them read to you. If you want to hear them, you will come across comments you don't like. When you do, you can hit the dislike button, comment on their post by saying "what have you been smoking. I completely disagree. That is ridiculous," or you can write your own comment that address the comment you don't like. If you dislike a comment, I would recommend not replying to it by judging, cursing, not using logic, and showing off your ignorance.

Thanks for the wake up call Cinnamon. And if you are so dead set on using the Internet for self-destruction, I'd recommend just taking drugs or cutting yourself.

Sorry for the waste of time for everyone else : ) !!!

10:51AM on 03/27/2015
This is the movie I've been looking forward to more than any other this year.
This is the movie I've been looking forward to more than any other this year.
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12:14AM on 03/28/2015
Really? Why?
Really? Why?
2:36AM on 03/28/2015
winddragon, I'm curious too, it must be almost the first time this german dude is not bitching about something. Maybe he's a man's best friend's best friend under all that sarcastic negativity?
winddragon, I'm curious too, it must be almost the first time this german dude is not bitching about something. Maybe he's a man's best friend's best friend under all that sarcastic negativity?
12:04PM on 03/28/2015
"Really? Why?"

For much the same reason that anyone looks forward to any movie they're looking forward to, I suppose. Why do you look forward to certain movies? Something about the synopsis, trailer or reviews piques your interest.

"it must be almost the first time this german dude is not bitching about something"

I'm neither a German nor a "dude" and I'd hardly refer to sarcasm as "bitching". FWIW, most of my comments are probably marked 'neutral', but that's the thing with selective
"Really? Why?"

For much the same reason that anyone looks forward to any movie they're looking forward to, I suppose. Why do you look forward to certain movies? Something about the synopsis, trailer or reviews piques your interest.

"it must be almost the first time this german dude is not bitching about something"

I'm neither a German nor a "dude" and I'd hardly refer to sarcasm as "bitching". FWIW, most of my comments are probably marked 'neutral', but that's the thing with selective memory. A lot of shmoes probably identify The_Soloist as "that dude who's always ridiculously positive about everything" even though he isn't.

Oh, and yes - I am a man's best friend's best friend. I love dogs. :)
5:56PM on 03/28/2015
That's ok Schwarz, it would be boring if we all had the same opinions. Seems most of your posts that I've seen have been critizising something, I assumed it was your persona. To go with your name which must mean black- something. So not german, not a dude either?
On dogs I agree with you. I have one that looks a lot like the one in the picture with the girl. He will chase balls all day long.
That's ok Schwarz, it would be boring if we all had the same opinions. Seems most of your posts that I've seen have been critizising something, I assumed it was your persona. To go with your name which must mean black- something. So not german, not a dude either?
On dogs I agree with you. I have one that looks a lot like the one in the picture with the girl. He will chase balls all day long.
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