The Horror Honeys: The Unwanted Will Have Their Day...

The Unwanted Will Have Their Day...

A Revenge Honey New Release Review by Linnie

White God (2015)

I've spoken before about my hard limits in film: child murder, rape scenes that don't further the plot, and animal abuse. I've reviewed films involving revenge for animals before, specifically Revenge for Jolly and John Wick. Knowing that I would give my dog a kidney if he needed it, I went into Hungarian revenge drama/horror film White God with my defenses up. And even so...

I cried for a solid two hours.

So join me, darklings, for the emotional punch to the gut that is Kornél Mundruczó's White God.

The Story: 13-year-old Lili has been sent to stay with her distant father while her mother is on a lecture tour of Australia. Along for the awkward ride is her beloved mixed-breed dog, Hagen. But daddy doesn't like dogs, and in this world, only pure-bred dogs are allowed to live with families without paying insane taxes. So dickhead dad tosses Hagan out into the street, and unwittingly sets off not just a hellish existence for the beautiful pup, but a canine revolution. Because the mixed-breed dogs of the city are mad as hell, and they aren't going to be marginalized anymore.

First off, I absolutely HAVE to warn any readers that have a similar emotional constitution to mine regarding animal abuse: this movie will destroy you. Hagan is beaten, starved, tortured, sold to a dog fighting ring, and put in a shelter where his death seems imminent. The animal deaths are so realistic, that I had to keep repeating the phrase, "It's not real. It's not real."

And I had to keep looking at this picture from Cannes. HE'S OK & WEARING
If someone had taken my dog from me at 13, I would have died. Literally.
The brutality is intense and it will break your heart, regardless of whether or not you're a dog person. This is because Mundruczó's story is about far more than a little girl's search for beloved lost dog, though this is the plot that anchors the film. White God is a delicately written political allegory, a brilliant and beautiful mashup of Homeward Bound and Animal Farm. Because while Lili believes that love can conquer any trial, the one thing it can't is the anti-immigrant sentiment currently running rampant in Europe.

That is the true story at the heart of White God. The "mutts" that are viewed as less deserving of life reflect the way outsiders are treated all across Europe, especially those of mixed-races or non-European ancestry. Getting work, avoiding police profiling (in White God, represented by overly-zealous dog catchers), simply surviving with no resources, this is the life of an outsider in Europe right now. And White God asks the question: when you are backed into a corner, can you be blamed for lashing out with your teeth bared, ready for a fight?

I don't blame you, Hagan. You earned that snarl.

And while White God was meant as a European political allegory, I saw so much of America's own problems in its metaphor. In a country dominated by the for-profit prison system, prisoners are given no resources and no options once they leave jail. Recidivism is, in fact, encouraged, because more prisoners means more money. So like Hagen, they are taught by the system to be violent, and then society acts shocked when they rebel. White God is a movie absolutely rife with subtle and perfect metaphors, yet it never bashes you over the head with them.

Built around adept performances from Zsófia Psotta as Lili, as well as the extensive cast of canine actors (all adopted shelter dogs), White God is a film that will linger with you long after the credits roll. And if you're anything like me, you will snuggle your pup just a little tighter.

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 Dog Armies out of 5

To find an adoptable furry friend near you, visit Petfinder! Always adopt... never buy.

Support the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, an organization started by The Exorcist star 
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