White God (2014)

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Greeted by an establishing shot so stunning, White God immediately built an atmosphere within me as we see our young protagonist Lili crossing an isolated bridge, soon followed by a pack of seemingly vicious escaped dogs. Mundruczo captures the moment immediately, leaving the viewer immediately fascinated by what events occurred for Hungary to feel this cold and broken. He pulls the time back and the chaos begins.

Sequences are filled with a general uneasiness, rather than the calmness scenes portraying an inseperable bond between Lili and her dog Hagen might suggest. It’s chilling in some respects, mostly through the way Mundruczo creates the mood with sharp cuts, and frequently with the moderation of sweeping long takes to help identify this mood.

Hagen is soon thrown away by Lili’s father in a fit of rage. This is where the narrative changes and Hagen becomes the force driving it. He’s lost and quickly captured by several information, one of whom he is sold to and is pulled into the dog fighting ring. Sequences here, unlike earlier, feel brutal. There’s an insatiable rage boiling within each shot, channeling an intensity different to anything I’ve seen before.

White God studies this anger, identifying it through the obvious denotations of violence but equally through the connotative embodiment surrounding a political statement on animal rights. I won’t go in to it’s true meaning, but the real intelligence of its identity is clear to see if you look past the occasionally ridiculous nature of a film concerning an animal uprising and focus on the raw passion present within Mundruczo’s work.

I went into this hoping to be enthralled and Mundruczo didn’t let me down. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen. The final shot is a thing of beauty.

87/100

 

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