“White God”: A Girl Seeks Her Dog

Budapest, Hungary, has a serious PR problem thanks to the movie “White God.” The film, a grimly dark satire, depicts a city of serious dog haters – from ordinary apartment tenants intolerant of canines, to the homeless who steal them, to the Gypsy underground that trains them to fight to the death and the ruthless legions of dog-catchers who swarm in on escaped animals. Standing alone against this sea of Hungarian hound hate is Lili (Zsofia Psotta). She’s 13, her parents are divorced and her big mutt Hagen is her best friend. But when Lili is forced to stay with her bitter ex-professor dad, now reduced to being a meat inspector at a slaughterhouse, Hagen is not a part of the deal. Dad puts up with the dog only until a busybody neighbor lies to the authorities to get Dad (Sandor Zsoter) into trouble. Fed up with the dog and Lili’s growing defiance over it, he dumps Hagen in the street. “White God” – the title seems to be a play on Sam Fuller’s “White Dog,” a film about a girl whose pet was raised to attack black people – is mostly about Lili’s efforts to find her beloved dog, the awful odyssey Hagen endures when he joins the ranks of Hungary’s strays, and the possibility of revenge when those strays escape.

Leave a Comment